10 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nineteen years into their career, Blonde Redhead haven't just seriously altered their own sound over the years; they’ve watched their audience grow up, with some replaced by newer fans at their shows. Anyone who remembers Blonde Redhead's early days recalls the constant comparisons to Sonic Youth; the listeners who hung in watched the band redefine their sound in the ‘00s with excellent albums such as Misery Is a Butterfly and 23. 2010’s Penny Sparkle divided audiences with its accessible pop sound, but Barragan should please fans from nearly all eras. Kazu Makino sings with gorgeous affection on “The One I Love” and with exquisite power throughout, while twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace provide a tension and beauty that’s pure art rock—and in some case Krautrock (“Mind to Be Had”). The trio’s ability to settle into minimalist and denser, abstract territories, largely guided by synths as opposed to guitars, has refreshed them to the point of pained ecstasy.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nineteen years into their career, Blonde Redhead haven't just seriously altered their own sound over the years; they’ve watched their audience grow up, with some replaced by newer fans at their shows. Anyone who remembers Blonde Redhead's early days recalls the constant comparisons to Sonic Youth; the listeners who hung in watched the band redefine their sound in the ‘00s with excellent albums such as Misery Is a Butterfly and 23. 2010’s Penny Sparkle divided audiences with its accessible pop sound, but Barragan should please fans from nearly all eras. Kazu Makino sings with gorgeous affection on “The One I Love” and with exquisite power throughout, while twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace provide a tension and beauty that’s pure art rock—and in some case Krautrock (“Mind to Be Had”). The trio’s ability to settle into minimalist and denser, abstract territories, largely guided by synths as opposed to guitars, has refreshed them to the point of pained ecstasy.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.1 out of 5

46 Ratings

46 Ratings

Wickedly Sexy

mntbikero

What can I say they just keep on getting better!!!

Disappointing

Eggy-Weggs

I loved “23” and I am sad that this just does not measure up to that at all. I respect an artist’s or band's desire to create work that they like, without regard to what an audience or fan base might like. I also admit that sometimes we need to hear a song or CD a few times to start to appreciate it; but frankly, this is just hard to listen to. And I was so looking forward to their new CD!

EH...

l0n3w0l4

About three of there songs are good from the album. Dripping, Penultimo, and Lady M.

About Blonde Redhead

Moving from Sonic Youth-like art punk to eclectic pop over the course of their decades-long career, Blonde Redhead remained one of indie rock's most creative acts. The band formed in 1993 after Japanese art students Kazu Makino and Maki Takahashi randomly met Italian twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace at an Italian restaurant in New York. (The name was taken from a song by the '80s no wave band DNA.) With Makino and Amedeo on guitars and vocals, Simone on drums, and Takahashi on bass, the band's chaotic, artistic rock caught the attention of Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, who produced and released the band's debut album, Blonde Redhead, on his Smells Like Records label. Shortly after the album's release, Takahashi left the band. The remaining members continued as a trio, releasing a second album, La Mia Vita Violenta, on Shelley's label in 1995.

For their 1997 release, Fake Can Be Just as Good, recorded for Touch & Go, the trio was joined by guest bass player Vern Rumsey from Unwound. By 1998, the band eliminated bass and scaled back to guitars, drums, and vocals for In an Expression of the Inexpressible. Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons and the Melodie Citronique EP followed two years later. The band's first for 4AD, Misery Is a Butterfly, was released in spring 2004. For 2007's 23, the group opted for a mix of dream pop and delicate electronic textures. Three years later, Blonde Redhead delivered Penny Sparkle, a more stripped-down, even more electronic-leaning set of songs the band recorded in New York and Stockholm with Alan Moulder, Van Rivers, and the Subliminal Kid. In 2014, Blonde Redhead returned with Barragán, featuring production from Drew Brown (Beck, Stephen Malkmus, Radiohead). The band revisited its early days in 2016 with the Numero Group box set Masculin Feminin, which collected Blonde Redhead and La Mia Via Violenta along with demos, singles, and radio performances from that era. That year also saw the release of Freedom of Expression on Barragán Hard, a collection of Barragán remixes including contributions by Deerhoof, Van Rivers, Nosaj Thing, and Connan Mockasin. Blonde Redhead returned with new music in 2017 in the shape of the EP 3 O'Clock, which they released on their own Asa Wa Kuru Records. ~ Tracy Frey

ORIGIN
New York, NY
FORMED
1993

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