Blonde Redhead – Penny Sparkle

January 01, 1970

(4AD)

 

www.4AD.com

 

With
each new album. Blonde Redhead moves away from the abrasive second-generation
no wave trio that sprung up more than 15 years ago. No one can sustain that
type of ruckus for that long and Penny
Sparkle
creates some heady dance music, blurring the lines between
instruments and production. Like 2007’s 23,
Alan Moulder mixed the final product, but production chores were handled by the
team of Van Rivers and The Subliminal Kid (Fever Ray, Massive Attack), who
really give the band a new coat of paint. Drum machine and synth bass usher in
“Here Sometimes” which, while disarming to longtime fans, still sounds fairly
enchanting. That same can be said for vocalist Kazu Mazino, who sounds pretty
and sweet here and throughout the album.

 

Once you
get accustomed to its sound, Penny
Sparkle
‘s dreamier moments, like guitars initially thought to be buried in
the mix, reveal themselves. But the songs all seem to reside around the same
mid-tempo area, making the album drag during one sitting.

 

DOWNLOAD: “My Plants are Dead,”
“Love or Prison” MIKE SHANLEY

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