Asobi Seksu | Hush

Polyvinyl (2009)
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  February 18, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars

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Faced with a blank canvas after 2006's near-perfect Citrus, NYC four-piece Asobi Seksu could easily have repeated themselves with another heavy polishing of shoegaze ideals. And faced with the prospect of a new label known for its raft of barely post-emo devotees, they also could have bailed on their nascent legacy and let fall a platter of drab pop-by-numbers. But Hush quells qualms with the relaxed assurance every third album should carry. Rather than replumb the depths of their '90s alt-guitar fetishes, the group opt to broaden their palette with glocks, organs, theremins, glowing string synths, and, of course, Yuki Chikudate's icy soprano — here cutting her melodic curlicues more boldly than ever before. "Glacially" moves from twinkling atmospherics into a coda of halting, herky-jerky guitar antics that will have any Swirlies fan cueing up Blonder Tongue Audio Baton for dessert. And with their unexpected negative space (read: breathing room), both "In the Sky" and "Gliss" signal that Asobi Seksu might be tipping more in the direction of the artfully wrought post-pop of Blonde Redhead than the hazy, gazy soundscapes of A Sunny Day in Glasgow — and you could certainly pick worse poles to wobble between.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Asobi Seksu, Blonde Redhead, Yuki Chikudate
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