The Raveonettes' new album finds the dark Danish duo moving past the borderline gimmicky self-imposed limitations (entire albums played in one key; keeping all songs under the 3-minute mark) and Phil Spector-era wall of sound emulations that marked, and marred, their previous endeavors.
Sune Rose Wagner (guitar, vocals) and Sharin Foo (bass, vocals) have at last determined their sonic niche: hard-edged guitar, feedback galore and dreamy vocal harmonies.
Lyrically, Lust Lust Lust keeps it dark and brooding, constantly reminding the listener that the most intoxicating relationships are the most terrifying; the best sex is the dirtiest; and you can't separate desire from danger. To wit, a sample lyric: "I can't keep you / I can't hold you tight / I can't lull you to sleep / Despite my hurtful ways / I can still make you blush," from "Blush."
The strength and weakness of Lust Lust Lust is that it's an incredibly cohesive album. On the plus side, the consistency makes it easy to get lost in the stylish cinematic sonic landscape Wagner and Foo have painted--a sinister and sexy David Lynch-ian noir fantasy. On the negative side, there's little to differentiate tracks.
Still, I'll take a band that delves deeply into their vision, and does it so well, over one that overreaches to cover the spectrum of emotions and genres, watering everything down in the process. Besides, is it possible for the world to have too many bittersweet songs on the truism that--apologies to Sherman--love is hell?