mon 23/09/2019

CD: Karen O - Crush Songs | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Karen O - Crush Songs

CD: Karen O - Crush Songs

Karen O displays an undeniably raw show of emotion on her debut solo album

Karen O’s first solo outing is an intimate confessional full of short, lo-fi, angst filled songs which mark a period in her life when she “wasn’t sure I’d ever fall in love again.” Recorded in private over 2006-2007 after a break-up with Spike Jonze the year previously,  the album leaves the listener to ponder not only her mind-set at that time but the reasoning for making this heartfelt debut available now. Released under Julian Casablanca’s label Cult, and accompanied by a tour of small gigs, the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs' extraordinary front woman is currently showing no signs of despair.

Quite obviously in a world of pain, longing and regret, Karen O’s croaky vocals display a thoughtful yet vicious melancholy which enchants from the opening song "Ooo". Swiftly melting into "Rapt" with lyrics “Do I need another habit like you?”, she opines the downsides of attraction whilst shrieking alongside acoustic guitar. Sore subjects and soured romance are dwelled upon with a mixture of raw intensity and dreamy contemplations.

The brevity of the songs communicate the hasty nature of infatuation and highlight unformed thoughts. But perhaps that doesn’t matter. This is an achingly irresistible and honest time capsule of heartbreak and obsession. Frustration is capably thrust about in "Body", which utilises white noise and screams. The throes of passion, the madness and wretchedness of the crush are wrangled with throughout until ending with a defiant chuckle in "Singalong." 

For the Karen O completest and Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs fan Crush Songs provides interesting insight into her world but it is not an essential addition for the casual collector. The raging bellows of her band endeavours are shed in favour of songs more in line with her work on the Where the Wild Things Are and Her soundtracks. Just like the tears which roll down Karen O’s face in the Maps music video there’s no denying the authenticity of emotion on show.

Overleaf: watch the music video for "Rapt"

The brevity of the songs communicate the hasty nature of infatuation and highlight unformed thoughts


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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