Up until this point I had never been a huge fan of the Danish duo of The Raveonettes. Let me clarify, as it wasn't that I disliked their vintage-sounding pop songs, and I always enjoyed seeing them live, but they never managed to sneak into my already overflowing list of favorites. With their latest full-length album, Lust Lust Lust, it looks like I may have to cram them in, as this is an impressive effort.
Opener "Aly, Walk With Me" knocks you on your ass with a slinky 007 groove, perfect for any classic spy movie. In fact, it has a similar core vibe to early Portishead, that is until the fuzzed-out guitars erupt towards the middle of the track, giving them that delicious Jesus & Mary Chain sound. Sune Rose Wagner's reverb soaked surf guitar licks mesh perfectly with his boy/girl vocal duet with singer Sharin Foo on "Hallucinations," a welcome return to the sound that most fans are familiar with.
It is the duo's darker tracks that truly stand out on this record, including the slinky, smoke-filled "Lust" and the Legends meets Radio Dept. splendor of "Black Satin." Some critics may have been turned off by their use of noise, echoes and guitar effects, but to me it all works perfectly, creating the perfect backdrop for the vocals of Sharin Foo. I found it impossible to resist Wagner's masterful musicianship, dropping in the wall of guitars at just the right moments throughout "You Want The Candy."
One the most pleasant surprises of this disc is on the ballad "With My Eyes Closed." The shoegaze is removed from their sound, leaving only the boy/girl vocals and a downtempo beat left, punctuated with bit of Wagner's patented guitar work. By stripping away the fog of effects, it leaves enough bare bones left to show how great their songwriting can be. This would be the perfect track for hiding out during a cold, grey winter day.
All in all, The Raveonettes have done a great job with Lust Lust Lust. While they haven't abandoned the basics of what placed them in the spotlight with their previous releases, they've added just enough to keep me very entertained. Consider this one of the first great new albums coming out in 2008 here in the US.
MP3 Download - "Dead Sound"