Sunday, March 20, 2005Let's Rave On because you know that you want it
At last! A non-singer-songwriter to blog about! It's all been getting a bit personal recently, hasn't it? As well as a bit quiet, but fear not for Abstractboy's 2nd year teaching comes to an end on Tuesday and there will be no more deadlines with which to juggle, not until September anyway.
So the Raveonettes are back after not even a year of writing and recording their follow up to 2003's Chain Gang of Love. Both Chain Gang of Love and it's predeccesor Whip it on were characterised by the heavy feedback and the former being written exclusively in Bb major and the latter solely in Bb minor, with the emphasis being on increasing creativity in song-writing through the restriction of writing in one key. If anything, it made working out the guitar parts much easier. Unfortunately, despite the rave(!haha!) reviews that Chain Gang of Love received and the mini-summer-anthem of That Great Love Sound hitting the charts, the album never-quite became the success it was expected to be.
But hopefully the follow up, Pretty in Black, due for release in early May, will pick up where Chain Gang left off. The new material played at their two recent London shows a huge progression in songwriting skills and a move away from the feedback heavy sound from the previous albums, which some listeners found it hard to see through. The album also features some very, very special collaborations from Ronnie Spector and Suicide, among others. The sound is, like the previous album, very 60s girl group inspired. Chief song-writer, Sune Rose-Wagner, cites the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" as the reason he makes music, so to have one of the most distinctive voices of the movement on the record is something special. But more so than on Chain Gang of Love, it really does sound like the real thing. The compositions are as simple and as pure as "Be My Baby" or the Shangri-Las, with some Wall of Sound-style production and some real classical twist of bitter-sweet love songs. Some of it is even twist-and-shoutable and future single, Love in a Trashcan could be blared out at full volume as you drive across the desert in a shiny red convertible.
Puting this CD on will be just as good as playing the Ronettes at full volume and knowing sure whether you want to laugh or cry. Every song so far sounds like it could be a single, and every song is all the more sincere in its imitation of one of the most classic pop sounds. While Girls Aloud's excellent 80s inspired pop is fun, the organic and sincere approach that the Raveonettes take towards recreating this sound sets it above all the those rubbish retro-revivalists filling up the pages of NME. Black Velvets, Jet - I mean you!