- Words: John S.W. MacDonald
- Label: Sub Pop
- XLR8R Rating: 6.5/10
These days, it isn’t the radio that produces one-hit wonders–it’s Apple commercials. Hence the success last year of CSS’ “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex” after the tune appeared in an iPhone commercial. Apple couldn’t have found a better jingle for its latest gadget than CSS’ giddy New Wave amateurism. On Donkey, the Brazilian quintet ditches its quirky electro-rock for full-throated post-punk–trading in their Tom Tom Club 12-inches for Sonic Youth albums (“Give Up” even quotes directly from the latter’s “Washing Machine”). Unfortunately, vocalist Lovefoxxx still has the same teenage concerns (alcohol, sex, dancing) and delivers the same cutesy overtones, while the polished guitars and brash synths ache for something more substantial. Only on “Left Behind”–which finds Lovefoxxx showing a rare touch of vulnerability–and the hip-shaking “Move” does CSS resolve the contradiction. Otherwise, Donkey sounds like a child trapped in Kim Gordon’s body.
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