CSS - Donkey (2 stars)


(Sub Pop)


When CSS exploded into our lives two years ago, a thrilling, party-starting blend of dazzling colours, beautiful faces, bizarre outfits, eccentric showmanship and wonderfully quirky sing-alongs, all seemed bright for the Brazilian electro-poppers. Since then they’ve conquered the mainstream with a plethora of hits and inked impressive money-spinning advertising deals, with lead singer Lovefoxxx even bagging herself a trendy rock star boyfriend in the form of Simon Klaxon in the process. But in April of this year bassist Ira Trevisan left the band citing unconvincing environmental reasons, and for the first time chinks in the CSS armour were revealed.

Sadly, Donkey only serves to raise further doubts about the outfit’s future. Despite boasting the occasional catchy melody and a marked improvement vocally, the album is let down by an over-produced sonic sheen, bland filler tracks, emotionless ballads and cringey simplistic lyrics: ‘I’m going to get up on the table and dance my ass off till I die’ croons Lovefoxxx on ‘Left Behind’ while ‘Air Painter’ includes the tedious refrain ‘Buy me a sandwich, get me some hot tea’. CSS may not be known for their deep and meaningfuls but this is basic even for them – and when combined with a distinct lack of memorable choruses and flat, lacklustre delivery throughout, it makes for a pale imitation of the São Paulo quintet’s former glories. Back to the drawing board please chaps, this is one disappointing, damp squib of a second offering.

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