The last album by CSS, otherwise known as Cansei de Ser Sexy, was 2011’s La Liberacion. While “I Love You” and “Hits Me Like A Rock” were uber-catchy pop gems, the rest of the Brazilian band’s third album felt somehow misguided. And their second album, Donkey, was only slightly better. Their first album, however, was amazing, and sold pretty well thanks to the song “Music is My Boyfriend” being used in an advertisement on TV (for iTunes, if memory serves me correctly), and I truly believed they’d release another great album someday. I’m pleased to say that it’s finally happened with their just-released new album Planta.
You may remember CSS’s lead singer Lovefoxx as the vocalist on Kavinsky’s song “Night Call” on the soundtrack to the movie Drive. That’s the track that made the soundtrack, which was mostly made up of score by Cliff Martinez, sell quite well, especially by soundtrack standards. (The soundtrack was also a large reason why the movie was such a hit, helping to give it a distinct, soothing feel in contrast to the movie’s stark violence.) I was disappointed when Kavinsky’s debut album recently dropped and failed to have a new collaboration with Lovefoxx. (That it was made up mostly of instrumentals didn’t help either.) It felt like a major missed opportunity. But perhaps he reached out to Lovefoxx and she was too busy working on the new CSS record. Or maybe her record label wouldn’t let her sing on another Kavinsky track when they were planning to release a new album this year. Who knows. Fortunately, Planta picks up right where “Night Call” left off. Produced by Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio fame, it’s their most electro album to date and it’s also their most cohesive album thus far. And it just might be their best, too, given that all 11 of the synthy tracks are quite delicious. It has the pop flair of Kylie Minogue, the electro-clash goodness of Felix Da Housecat and a bit of Peaches’ rebellious attitude. “You can turn me on and I will never turn on you,” Lovefoxx sings repeatedly during opening track “Honey” and that’s as good a promise as you’re going to get from any artist this year.