12 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After two promising indie albums, the Cribs enter major label-dom with Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever, a brittle yet bouncy collection of abrasive pop tunes. Lead singer/guitarist Ryan Jarman guides the British foursome into the trenches of romantic warfare with a mixture of annoyance and delight. Twitching tempos and nagging guitar riffs lend a prickly energy to “Girls Like Mystery,” “Moving Pictures,” and “I’m a Realist,” setting off Jarman’s dissections of dating culture and urban alienation. “Love is a lie/attraction an instinct,” he declares in a typically aggrieved tone in “I’ve Tried Everything.” At times, a self-pitying mood (especially in “Women’s Needs”) threatens to dampen the fun. But when all else fails, the Cribs’ affection for classic Britpop shines through, infusing tunes like “Ancient History” and “Our Bovine Public” with a mocking sort of joy. Adding balance is the sprawling “Be Safe” (featuring a spoken vocal by Sonic Youth’s Lee Renaldo) and the softly acoustic “Shoot the Poets.” As producer, Alex Kapranos (from Franz Ferdinand) dresses the band in more presentable sounds without obscuring their soiled charm.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After two promising indie albums, the Cribs enter major label-dom with Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever, a brittle yet bouncy collection of abrasive pop tunes. Lead singer/guitarist Ryan Jarman guides the British foursome into the trenches of romantic warfare with a mixture of annoyance and delight. Twitching tempos and nagging guitar riffs lend a prickly energy to “Girls Like Mystery,” “Moving Pictures,” and “I’m a Realist,” setting off Jarman’s dissections of dating culture and urban alienation. “Love is a lie/attraction an instinct,” he declares in a typically aggrieved tone in “I’ve Tried Everything.” At times, a self-pitying mood (especially in “Women’s Needs”) threatens to dampen the fun. But when all else fails, the Cribs’ affection for classic Britpop shines through, infusing tunes like “Ancient History” and “Our Bovine Public” with a mocking sort of joy. Adding balance is the sprawling “Be Safe” (featuring a spoken vocal by Sonic Youth’s Lee Renaldo) and the softly acoustic “Shoot the Poets.” As producer, Alex Kapranos (from Franz Ferdinand) dresses the band in more presentable sounds without obscuring their soiled charm.

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