She Wants Revenge – She Wants Revenge

She Wants RevengeLast week I mentioned how DJ Shadow’s latest album was met with a “cool” critical response. Well there was another album that I picked up last year that was also pretty fucking savaged in some magazines. The self-titled debut album from She Wants Revenge, the new project from former rapper Justin Warfield. His first album was a “daisy age”, psychedelic hip-hop album produced by Prince Paul (De La Soul, Handsome Boy Modeling School). Then he takes a left turn and makes a record that’s got more in common with classic rock, then he promptly disappears from the music biz. Now he’s turned up with cohort Adam 12 with an electro-goth record. No wonder everyone thought he was jumping on a bandwagon with this album. But my ignorance of his previous work means I can at least approach this album with a blank slate.

There are things wrong with this album, don’t get me wrong though. Justin’s vocal delivery is pretty monotone and cold, which to be fair fits the music perfectly. Every song has tight electro bass and beats, the only colour comes from some shimmering guitar and the occasional synth. The mood alternates between dancier, club-orientated tracks like “Out Of Control”, to dark and brooding songs about sex and lust (“Sister”, sample lyric “you can hurt me/do whatever you like”).

It’s the latter tracks that have got She Wants Revenge tagged as Joy Division rip offs, which I feel is unfair. Just because music is dark and cold doesn’t mean it’s necessarily ripping of Joy Division. The music does have roots in the darker Depeche Mode songs and in bands like Nine Inch Nails, but there’s a stark sensuality here that’s not too common in those other bands. On the best track “Tear You Apart”, you can hear the pent up desire in the protagonist so clearly in the lyrics. In all some of the criticisms of this album are warranted; it is stark both musically and lyrically but if that’s your bag, then I think you might get a kick out of this album.

She Wants Revenge – Tear You Apart:

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