Friday, January 13, 2006

Bestest of 2005 #8: Broadcast- Tender Buttons

The songs on this record all sound like they could just slip through your fingers at any moment, with a loose and fleeting feel that will make you question their permanence. Keyboards are distorted until they almost become impossible to manage, and sparse Detroit electro beats serve as a backdrop to a female vocalist with enough charisma and character in her voice and blurry imagery in her lyrics to make you wonder why people think Karen O is cool. Of course Stereolab immediately comes to mind, but the differences between that group and Broadcast abound not only in style (darker and more dreary) but in attitude as well (simultaneously more avant garde and twee). A better point of reference would probably be Magnetic Fields' Holiday, which has probably become THE genre defining album for bedroom electropop, which after a few listens you will recognize this record to be a part of at least in part.

While the music is fantastically minimalist, frontwoman Trish Keenan really steals the show, and it is her voice and pacing that you will remember after you hear this record. These are the kinds of songs that will get stuck in your head without actually retaining their form: you will say, hm, I keep singing Broadcast to myself, but I don't know which song it is. Truthfully it probably isn't any one song, but a haunting sound that this band has made its signature. You won't appreciate the full effect until you see this band live, which is incredible by any measure, but you should let this album remind you of why you listen to new music at all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes. this pleases me immensely.

5:46 AM  

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