Tuesday, June 7, 2011

CSS - La Liberacíon

La Liberación is the international answer to Ke$ha. Trite lyrics almost being the point here, CSS is around to start the party, not the conversation. The fivesome from São Paulo, Brazil, is best when not taken seriously. Hedonistic, restless, and snot-nosed, La Liberación is pure club scene. Surging beats and blaring synths flow throughout showstoppers like “I Love You” and “City Grrrl,” which fans of Far East Movement would be absolutely silly not to embrace. CSS, though, is far less of a guilty pleasure. The international vibe on the album feels more cultured and less constructed than most of the Guetta-ized tunes currently playing the dance scene. Elsewhere, CSS (short for Cansei de Ser Sexy, or “tired of being sexy”) finds an island vibe on “Echo of Love,” and sways to a chilled-out reggae swing in “Hits Me Like a Rock.” On the latter, frontwoman Lovefoxxx’s speak-singing hearkens to M.I.A with a Portuguese accent. The title track, the only Spanish-language song on the album, is also the most immediate. Tight guitar grumble, infectious yelled choruses, and a punk rock fever leave the body as quickly as they enter. The delicate piano twinkling in “Partners in Crime” is a pleasantly jazzy surprise on an album meant for the rave.

Disappointingly, the second half of the album loses some of the sting. It gets embarrassing on “Red Alert,” a sultry, snake-like song featuring Brookyn electronic duo, Ratatat. Lovefoxx groans for a lover to meet her in the desert, where she’s “feeling the rhythm of casual love,” detailing a sexual encounter atop low-tempo syncopation. But again, it’s better to tune out the meaning, focusing instead on La Liberación’s ability to make every muscle in the body burn with an itch to dance. Above all, the point is liberation, freedom from caring, and a hell of a lot of booty shaking.

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