CSS

Planta

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CSS' fourth studio album and first release since parting ways with drummer/songwriter/producer Adriano Cintra in 2011, 2013's Planta is a frothy, lightly experimental electro-pop outing that retains all of the band's fun, dance party energy. Produced by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, Planta features all of the old-school-sounding synths and drum machines CSS have built their sound around since their infectious 2006 debut, Cansei de Ser Sexy. In fact, this time out, CSS' keyboard-heavy club sound, combined with lead singer Lovefoxxx's idiosyncratic deadpan delivery, sounds even more like Nico fronting the Tom Tom Club. This kind of '60s-meets-'80s aesthetic is actually pretty apt as Planta, named after the Portuguese word for plant, finds CSS cross-pollinating their new wave sound with a neo-psychedelic quality. Which isn't to say that Planta is an obtuse or even avant-garde album. On the contrary, as with past CSS albums, they have a knack for keeping even their most bizarre and kooky songs well within the boundaries of infectious, club-ready dance music. To these ends, cuts like the languid "Girlfriend" and the sparkling "Sweet" envelop you in roiling waves of steam-driven keyboards, jangly guitar lines, and reverb-laden vocal harmonies. Similarly, "Too Hot" has a hypnotic, kaleidoscopic '90s Madchester dance vibe, against which Lovefoxxx croons such surreal and sensually imagistic lyrics as "When you touch me so deep/I feel a fire all over me/It makes me burn like red hot chili/And like a snake I shed my skin" and "Your hair is like a lion...glowing with delight." This kind of loopy, poetic imagery is carried throughout all of Planta, and helps make it one of CSS' most creatively fertile and enjoyable pop organisms to date.

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