Monday, March 14, 2005

 

The Raveonettes have a new album due in early May, Pretty In Black, which means that we're probably due for a deluge of "Oh my sweet Jesus, they got rid of the distorted guitars revealing the pop band that was secretly hidden inside...who, I ask you, who could ever have predicted this?" articles from any number of writers working on a deadline.

Personally, I'd say that the big change with the new album is more that the quality of the songwriting/plagiarism has improved dramatically, with production issues coming in second. Songs in different keys! Songs that you can tell apart (even if they are awfully derivative of other songs)! It all hovers somewhere between Mazzy Star, Lee & Nancy, Dean & Britta, oldies radio, and, despite it's best efforts, The Jesus and Mary Chain, so bonus points for originality are still withheld, but I'd call this a fairly huge improvement over the fun-but-utterly-disposable Whip It On/Chain Gang Of Love, and probably more succesful than the Jesus & Mary Chain's feedback-ditching precedent.

Here are two tracks from it: Uncertain Times (Dean Wareham is kicking himself for not writing this), and a surprisingly worthwhile cover of My Boyfriend's Back with dinky drum machine put to great use. Is this version of My Boyfriend's Back as good as Alice Donut's definitive take on the same song? Surely you jest, but I've been enjoying the Raveonettes' version as more than just a novelty.

I'm not sure I'd call Pretty In Black an essential purchase, but it's definitely a big step in the right direction. If you (like me) had pretty much written off the band due to the saminess of their material, it might be worth taking another look.

Uncertain Times by The Raveonettes
My Boyfriend's Back by The Raveonettes
My Boyfriend's Back by Alice Donut (I will so kick your ass if you don't download this)

(Note to my sister, and, um, I guess everyone else. I decided to put off the Farewell Aldebaran post until later in the week. Check back on Wednesday.)



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