Lissy Trullie's 2012 eponymous sophomore effort finds the singer moving away from the more lo-fi rock of her 2009 debut, Self-Taught Learner, and embracing a slicker, moodier sound. A kind of punk fashion wunderkind on her debut, Trullie, whose cool, deep voice and enigmatic persona once drew comparisons to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O and Patti Smith, here brings to mind the theatrical rock of such artists as Nico with some of the dramatic muscle of '90s alternative icon PJ Harvey. Working with producers John Hill (Rihanna, Kings of Leon, M.I.A.) and TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, Trullie expands upon the melodic and darkly romantic nature of her previous work while also adding more driving post-punk beats and textured '80s goth and college rock guitars, synths, and vocal effects. To these ends, we get the expansive and cinematic opener, "Rules We Obey," the gothy, club-ready "Spit You Out," and the driving "Heart Sound," which sounds like a lost Siouxsie and the Banshees classic. Elsewhere, Trullie amps up the melodic pop on the jangly, '60s-sounding "Caring," evinces the late-'70s dance-punk-meets-reggae of the Clash on "It's Only You, Isn't It?," and keeps things fuzzed-out and anthemic on "X Red." Despite the title, Self-Taught Learner was anything but the work of an amateur, and here Trullie is clearly the queen of her post-punk castle.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar