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Xiu Xiu: La Foret

Even Darker Pop -- Released on 5RC, July 12th

It would seem Jamie Stewart could have decided that after some rave reviews of his last "Fabulous Muscles", perhaps most notably from Art Forum, he might make the shift so many noticed musicians make. La Foret, however, isn't an album packaged around superficial messages of hipness or the 'it' sound. Stewart takes the listener for an intelligent chap; someone who will hear the music above all else and see what time will have to say about it.

There is a shift in La Foret that seems to be a different kind of darkness for Xiu Xiu. In past efforts the synth and hand-made percussion had contained a more melodic schizophrenia that could delight and scare all in a matter of a seconds. La Foret has the ability to do both but over a longer period of time. "Muppet Face" is a beautiful ride with the headless horseman; the night just doesn't seem as scary as the person you're taking the trip with. In "Pox" synth and guitar lines bust out alt-pop orchestral beats giving a nod to the excursions of a greater album known as Kid A.

There are a great deal of shifts in the album that overall make it a difficult listen the first time around. Give it a chance and La Foret is an album that will still stick with you for days and maybe weeks after.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars