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Passive Me, Aggressive You (Remixes & B-Sides)

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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. [An LP version was released in 2011.]

Customer Reviews

I love this band

Here's how much: the vast majority of these songs were available through soundcloud and other means prior to this release. And being the near fanatic I am becoming over the band, I tracked down most of this content previously. Still, I paid for this release in full because I want to support this band. So, yeah, if you asked - I do want a cookie!

Anyway, this band rocks - blending, bending, and melting a lot of different influences into something fresh, exciting, and infectious. I can't wait for the proper follow up to Passive Me, Aggressive You. I truly think this band is on the brink of becoming HUGE. Even if they don't, they have built the sizable following they do have the old fashioned way - on the road. Good for them.

As far as these remixes and b-sides - there's a lot here to like. Personally, I dig the b-sides more so than the remixes. But there are some good remixes too - I particularly like The Drunken Apaches Remix of The Sun, for instance. Anyway, if you like the band, you'll find a lot to like here.

Lastly, I do wonder why Pace isn't on here? It's only a minute long track, and I have it. But it would have been nice to have it included in this release proper.

FinallY!!!

I beening waiting for this B-sides to be relased! Plus a new song! My day couldnt get any better.. My only problem is where is the song Pace?? That was a B-side to

Naked and Famous and still Famous

Amazing remixes and sound. This showcases Allisa's powerful voice, giving you chills. This album is enjoyable as it is memorable! Thanks Naked and Famous for always doing things the right way!

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 (Remixes & B-Sides), The Naked and Famous
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