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Album: La Liberación

Artist: CSS

Year: 2011

 

Cansei de Ser Sexy, better known as CSS clearly has a lot of emotion to get out.  Their third album, La Liberación comes three years after the somewhat disappointing release of Donkey, an album that received mixed reviews at best and from the sound of La Liberación, CSS took the criticism and actually did something with it.

Although the new album picks up with the same dance club friendly rave rock that brought the band wide acclaim for their first album, La Liberación offers far more than simple dance mixes.  “City Grrl,” the album’s third track, opens with a lovely Spanish guitar before breaking into a heavy beat and repeating a refrain about wanting to die one’s hair pink and wear short skirts.  While it may sound a little typical at first, there is some deep punk sentiment here and the theme of wondering how to be yourself in world where everything has been done and everything goes echoes throughout the album.

There are some great club tracks on here, songs that are almost impossible not to dance to, but there is a surprising and refreshing depth to the songs, which use standard electronic tropes mixed pleasingly with punk riffs and more subtle indie-rock sounds.  The track, “Ruby Eyes”, produced by Rattatat, is clean and straightforward, bouncy, but almost sweet and the second to last track, “Red Alert” could even be called pretty at times, even with its girl-rap interludes.

CSS is still angry at the world, from the sound of it, but they’ve also learned to play nice and show a slightly softer side without compromising any of their rave-worthy aesthetic.  At the end of an especially hot summer, this is the kind of album that makes you want the warm months to never end.  Listening to La Liberación makes you want to  put this album on your car stereo, roll down the windows and have a dance party as you cruise through the city.

For a band that has been sadly categorized as dance-beat-electro and not much, CSS has managed to make an album that not only makes you dance, but actually makes you feel and that’s no small accomplishment.