Blonde Redhead – 23

Blonde RedheadBlonde Redhead have been a group I’ve heard being talked about, but haven’t actually heard for a long time. Well I’ve bitten the bullet and purchased their current album. This New York threesome have actually been fairly prolific, recording seven albums since they formed in 1995 in New York. Comprising of three art students, their music has apparently been viewed as a more melodic and gentler version of their New York fore bearers, Sonic Youth. 23 is their latest album and their second album recorded for UK label 4AD, the label that was very influential in the 1980’s for releasing albums by the Cocteau Twins and Pixies.

Certainly 23 makes quite an impression early on, with the title track setting the tone. 23 is all about tone and texture. Despite being a three piece band, Blonde Redhead’s sound is dense and multi-layered. Despite the fact I didn’t find the album repetitive, it was a pleasant surprise to hear trumpets and trombones during the bridge in “SW”. “Spring And By Summer Fall” was another surprise; a gentle nuanced song that was instantly memorable.

“Silently” is another interesting track, it’s something that could have sounded like a pop-soul hit from the 60’s or 70’s, if it wasn’t for it’s ethereal sound.  To be honest, the only thing that will probably put people off is the vocals: they are beautiful and suit the songs, but they are non-descript and buried in the mix so I imagine that this is the type of thing that will really annoy people. Think of this band as the missing link between the Cocteau Twins and a band like Broken Social Scene. The music itself is difficult to categorise but 23 is an album that I’ve found hard not to think about over the last few days.

Blonde Redhead – 23:

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