After two years of constant touring, a triumphant run at the best international festivals, an iPod advert, a most-watched You Tube video of all time, literally millions of myspace plays, - a baptism of fire by anyone's standards - they're back this Summer, with their second much anticipated album `Donkey'.
More structured, crafted and polished than its predecessor (2006's `Cansei de Ser Sexy'), though no less tough, street-ready, anthemic, and from the heart, their new record recreates the frenetic energy of CSS's renowned live shows. Equal parts dance party, urban circus, and out-and-out chaos, the band's unaffected, unbridled joy in performance is for real and for you.
In the run up to the release of Donkey
, second album by Brazilian electro-pop hedonists CSS, there was talk in interviews of their desire to become more professional and indeed to be seen doing so after the immense success of their haphazard debut--to such an extent that it led to Ira Trevisan's being pushed from the group when she chose to learn French and design clothes ahead of formally brushing up her rudimentary bass guitar skills in between albums. To anyone already swept up by CSS's giddy, ramshackle blitz of the world's festivals and clubs over the last couple of years though, that plan sounded as rational as enforcing less movement on dance floors. Thankfully they've clung to many of the feisty characteristics and flourishes that made them a ball of elastic irresistibility in the first place, even allowing for regimentation and grown-up production values. The pigeon-English aerobic poetry (in that it rhymes) remains and is as blindly motivational as ever, while Lovefoxxx's endearingly eager squeals and quasi-raps keep the spirit well afloat. The tight guitar lick and infectious new-wave choruses of "Rat Is Dead (Rage)" and "Give Up" are vintage Elastica, "Left Behind" is all Heaven 17 synth-pop with a vibrant tropical kick and the 80s Madonna meets Daft Punk smoothness of "Move" is a spotless delight. While the vaguely anarchic glee of their debut is largely bleached out, one positive repercussion is that filler went with it. --James Berry