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Passive Me Aggressive You

The Naked and Famous

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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

Turn it up loud

Awesome debut album featuring a relentless rhythm that'll have you jamming to yourself on the bus, catchy lyrics you'll be murmuring snippets of all day and awesome hooks that'll have you listening on repeat.

Standout tracks for me are "Punching in a Dream", "Young Blood", "Spank" and "No Way", "All of This" is awesome as well; it's been on my most-played list for the past few month's already.

"Punching in a Dream" drives a towering beat that gets you moving while “Young Blood” is the anthem of the summer – it’s like a lazy sunny Saturday afternoon evolving into an epic dance around the bonfire. “No way” has a catching, sweetly beautiful opening, moving into kick in the crutch power and an urgent rhythm.

“Spank” reminds me of early Smashing Pumpkins with a melodious noise and power and “Girl Like You” is Pulp in the sunshine.

Finally out!!

Excellent album, support Aotearoa music! Go Kiwis!

Amazing!

Sublime, ethereal, rocking album. I can not (literally) stop listening to it. Hypnotic and addictive. Well done for an awesome debut album, you guys deserve all the love you're getting and I have a feeling those ridiculous one star reviews are from jealous wannabes. Pure brilliance! Ten out of ten.

Biography

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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