CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy) – Planta
June 11, 2013
What It Sounds Like: These (now) all-girl electro-indie-rockers distance themselves even more from any sort of rock element on their fourth record, Planta. The electronics are now at the forefront, most certainly inspired from losing their primary “rock element” songwriter and one core-male-member in 2011.
I knew there was trouble when I read that Adriano Cintra was leaving Cansei de Ser Sexy. It was only a couple months after CSS has released two-thousand-eleven’s thoroughly enjoyable and powerful La Liberacion, and I had a sinking feeling that I would never hear from Lovefoxxx and her crew again. How do you continue on when the dude who writes almost all of your songs peaces-out because of his frustration with his bandmates, claiming that they don’t even know how to play their own instruments? Granted, if I was the only dude in an all-female group, there’s bound to be some serious clashing – but all that aside – what about CSS? Was there a future to be had once the dust had settled?
Well, here we are in two-thousand-thirteen, and here’s Planta. It’s not the trainwreck that it could have been, but it’s certainly has to fall in line as my least favorite out of their four record catalog. But listen! Even in fourth place, there’s still some real good fun to be had if you know where to look. It’s the most inconsistent of their releases, but still certainly worthy of your time.
No, there’s nothing as dance-able and energetic as Hits Me Like A Rock or City Grrrl, and the rock (and dare I say, bits of punk) that drove previous standouts like Rat Is Dead is as gone as that said-rat. Planta is also much safer than any of the indie-electro likes of Music Is My Hot Hot Sex or Alala. CSS has never been a safe band – can they pull it off? Do we even want them too?
I was certainly let down by lead single Hangover. I’m still trying to figure out what is up with the time signiture on that chorus – isn’t this supposed to be a single? I can appreciate it when it comes on, but it won’t be making its way onto any mix cds anytime soon.
I guess what Planta lacks, when it comes down to it, is excitement and energy. But, even with the lack of drive and energy, we still have plenty to enjoy. Not to rave about, no, but enjoy.
Honey is a fun track with a great electric hi-hat sample, and the synth-laden Into The Sun completes a few-and-far-between accomplishment by being not only the best song on the record, but also the longest (a tad under five minutes). The high point is a wonderful long-lost-ancient-ruins vocal sample that enters about three minutes in. CSS start to sound like they’re shooting for a Hot Chip level of maturity. I wouldn’t discourage it! Girlfriend, Sweet, Too Hot – these are good songs, but simply missing the huge spark that CSS once had. Dynamite is the one track on the record that finds these girls trying to recall the glory days of Donkey, with it’s half-hearted punky riff. It works halfway, but can’t compare to the 2008 days. I will give them some hard-earned points for album closer Faith In Love, a much more ambient and chilled out track that’s more fitting and respectable that their past work (La Liberacion closed off with an uninspired and tragic number entitled F–K Everything)
It wouldn’t surprise me if this was the last outing from CSS. However, they have a great back catalog, and even though this release isn’t their strongest, there are many more worse ways to go out. They aren’t done yet, but I’m gonna bet that they will be. It’s been a fun ride.
If you had to listen to two tracks: Into The Sun / Honey