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Asobi Seksu - Citrus

  by Chris O'Toole

published: 8 / 8 / 2007

Asobi Seksu - Citrus
Label: One Little Indian
Format: CD


Vibrant-sounding electronic pop on upbeat second album of shoegazing New York-based art rockers Asobi Seksu

A single great irony infuses ‘Citrus’, the second album from Asobi Seksu. The band employs all manner of electronic manipulation techniques in the production of their sound, amplifying, distorting and shaping every last vestige of their work, but ultimately creating a warm, natural sound. They wield their studio toys with obvious pleasure, composing overtly electronic music; but in doing so gift an organic feeling to ‘Citrus’; a sense of dreamily sauntering through the undergrowth, serenaded by memories of the vague unobtainable simplicity of childhood. This optimism is largely due to Yuki Chikudate’s honey dripping vocal delivery. After the murky, aquatic opener ‘Everything Is On’ subsides back into darkness Chikudate begins a aural assault which is sustained until the close of the album. This dynamic creates a choral feeling throughout the work as her haunting vocals weave in, out and around towering walls of surging distortion like smoke through mountain air. Whether in utilising Japanese or English lyrics, both of which are employed here in equal measure, Chikudate evokes sweeping, panoramic views of majestic beauty. So complete is her control of the album that her narrative is carried even in the simplest of a capella melodies (for example during ‘Strawberries’), but also building to an impressive spectacle when ably assisted by the robust playing of her band mates. In support of this vocal master-class Asobi Seksu create a precise, structured sound, on occasion carefully unleashing ethereal plains of noise, but never losing sight of their pop sensibilities. It is this willingness, however, to slip briefly into the wider spectrum of noise that imbues these deceptively simple pop melodies with an astral grandeur. Cynics would accuse the band of stepping on the toes of My Bloody Valentine or other noise provocateurs, and whilst the influence is obvious, it’s not detrimental; here reshaped and presented with fresh vigour and élan. Whereas their forbearers would wander into fields of droning noise, leaving the listener lost in an audio wasteland, ‘Citrus’ is a more focused and compact effort, filled with romanticised idealism. Although occasionally wistful the tone of the album is overwhelmingly positive, alive in a time without worry before fear invaded our lives. Asobi Seksu have here created an album suited to its time, an expansive, buoyant collection of pop songs which wash away the cynicism of modern life and leave one feeling vibrant and alive.

Track Listing:-
1 Everything Is On
2 Red Sea
3 New Years
4 Goodbye
5 Lions And Tigers
6 Nefi + Girly
7 Exotic Animal Paradise
8 Mizu Asobi
9 All Through The Day
10 Strawberries
11 Thursday
12 Strings
13 Pink Cloud Tracing Paper

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Interview (2007)
Asobi Seksu - Interview
New York based band Asobi Sejsu have recently signed tgo One Little Inidan to release their second album, 'Citrus'. Chris O' Toole talks to the distortion-friendly rockers about drinking, gambling and music

live reviews

XOYO, London, 19/4/2011
Asobi Seksu - XOYO, London, 19/4/2011
At a show to promote their latest album 'Fluoresence' with a new robust line-up, Chris O' Toole at the XOYO in London finds New York shoegazing band Asobi Seksu failing to build on or create new ground
Water Rats, London, 26/6/2007


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