At the end of a really long day, sometimes we settle for a Big Mac at the drive-thru. And most of us have, at some point, dated a dud because it takes a lot of work to find a winner. We’re only human. But why settle for vapid party songs when they’re not even catchy enough to make a single toe tap? We all like sleeping, but not right in the middle of the party. Usually, bedtime music and club jams fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. But if CSS is accomplishing anything, it’s the creation of a new hybrid: party songs so dull and insipid they kill the buzz before it even starts.
Some of the songs on Planta begin as dark as the worst in Interpol’s catalog. It’s really no fun, and the tone makes it a lot harder to choke down the lyrics. In the predictable “Too Hot,” we hear details of a god-like sex partner whose “hair is like a lion/blowing with delight.” It might come off as whimsical and playful in different circumstances.
If the album could be redeemed, it would do so by heavily leaning on “Hangover.” It has a semblance of heart with zesty horn blasts and a hefty dose of syncopation. For once, the band seems to let loose, so much so that we can forgive it for lines like, “let’s get happy, drinking bloody mary/I don’t want to be your sour cherry.”