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Passive Me Aggressive You

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Album Review

Listening to the Naked and Famous' guttingly good 2011 full-length debut, Passive Me Aggressive You, one thing is clear: this band loves a hot chorus. More often than not on the New Zealand indie electronic ensemble's album, songs like the immediately addictive leadoff cut, "All of This," seem to be building to their catchy and cathartic pinnacle as soon as they start. Every fuzzed-out synth, distorted drumbeat, and slow-zipper guitar line seems to foretell of an impending dance-rock orgy of melody. This, all before you even get to the vocalists, with Alisa Xayalith's yearning and Thom Powers' exuberant croons. Sharing lead duties on and off as well as lending harmonies to each other, Xayalith and Powers alternately ground and elevate such towering anthems as the brutally infectious "Punching in a Dream" and the layered and shimmering "Young Blood." This is '80s post-punk-influenced rock that never sounds too indebted to any of its obvious touchstones. In fact, you'd have to add caveats and descriptors to any comparison: i.e., “They sound like an overdriven Tears for Fears,” “An engorged OMD,” or “Human League as blasted through the blown-out speakers of a giant boombox.” Which isn’t to say the Naked and Famous sound lo-fi, although there is some of that sound here, too. On the contrary, tracks like "Eyes" are positively grainy with emotion, while simultaneously appearing glossy, like neon-colored pop spaceships that zap you with precise, heartbeat rhythms and draw you in with tractor beams of melody. By the time you get to the ascendant album closer, “Girls Like You,” with its angsty repeated line "Don't you know people write songs about girls like you?," it's almost as if the Naked and Famous are talking about themselves as much as addressing the listener. And in that sense, there's nothing passive about how much you could aggressively love this band.

Customer Reviews

TRACK 7.....

My fav. song of 2010 is track 7(young blood)it's the feel good song of the year!

Impressive first LP

Gen X would remember the early 90’s when alternative music was an explosion of sound and vocals that seemingly created it-self on stage, living in a hyped state and only for a moment. Somewhere along the line however, the producer has stuck their neck out and taken control, adding ethereal layers and filling in the gaps between drum roll and guitar crunch to keep your musical sensors tuned in after the party has long finished. Welcome to the after-party, featuring ‘The Naked and Famous’.

There is a real ‘Lost in Translation’ feel to their sound, a spacious sound, it’s a sound woven into an album that gives you just under an hour of continuous flow to disappear into your own world to. The ability to intertwine one song into the next and create flow is a rarity in a market filled with albums full of single releases, and even with a stand-alone heavier track like ‘A Wolf in Geek’s Clothing’ that smacks you out of a ‘Jilted Lovers’ mind coma, sits comfortably above ‘The Ends’, a track that lulls you back down to cruise through the albums final chilled run.

The Naked and Famous have clearly put in the hard yards since the release of their two EPs, taking their sound to a new depth that makes ‘Passive Me Aggressive You’ an expansive audio experience, the kind of experience that justifies wasting an afternoon on a beanbag with just you and a set of headphones.

young blood is awesome

i <3 the song young blood is is soooooo cool...


Formed: 2008 in Auckland, New Zealand

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

New Zealand indie electronic ensemble the Naked and Famous make driving, melodic pop with an '80s post-punk influence. Centered around the talents of vocalist Alisa Xayalith and instrumentalist/vocalist Thom Powers, the band formed in 2008 and released two EPs before adding members to play live. In 2010 they released their debut album, Passive Me, Aggressive You, featuring the number one single "Young Blood." In support of their debut, the band went on a massive world tour, performing some 200 odd...
Full Bio
Passive Me Aggressive You, The Naked and Famous
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Customer Ratings