Unlike their Danish peers, such as Aqua and Junior Senior who helped put Denmark on the musical map with their own brand of dance-pop, The Raveonettes bring their own twist to pop with their most recent effort, ‘Lust, Lust, Lust.’ Incorporating fuzzy guitars and shoegaze influences that recall My Bloody Valentine, The Raveonettes are set apart from the rest of the pack with their unique blend of rock and pop.
On ‘Lust, Lust, Lust,’ The Raveonettes sound seductive, letting the music seep under the skin as singer Sharin Foo hypnotizes with her dreamy vocals imbued with a hint of eroticism. This is most apparent on ‘Aly, Walk With Me’ and ‘Lust,’ where Foo’s sensuality rubs off noticeably with her sultry style that conjures images of a busy red-light district as the drums trod along at an even pace to create an intoxicating mood.
Most noticeable, however, is the amount of reverb on the record. This gives it an abrasive and borderline low-fi quality that might distract those listeners in search of soothing pop that’s easy on the ears. Guitarist Sune Rose Wagner’s caustic style is the yin to Foo’s yang. While the juxtaposition of Wagner’s reverb-drenched guitars and Foo’s caressing vocals result in a unique sound that is simultaneously sweet and rough, the excessive reverb occasionally distracts and takes the focus away from Foo’s beautiful singing. In this sense, the mixing of the record doesn’t quite allow her voice to shine as it might have if the record was mixed like a conventional pop record.
While these faults prevent the record from achieving its maximum potential, accessible tracks such as ‘With My Eyes Closed’ strike a successful balance between soft vocals and hard-edged guitars. One of the slower tracks on the album, it is a fitting but bitter ballad as Foo recounts a failed relationship, singing, ‘I’ve lost my eyes to hurt you, to leave you’ over warm, rich guitar chords and a bright, ringing guitar line.
In contrast to the down-tempo tracks, ‘Dead Sound’ and ‘You Want The Candy’ serve as the record’s twins, both running at a breakneck speed with a lot of energy-raising distortion. Yet, they continue to maintain an evenness as the band manages to take breaks during parts of the song to slow down and let Foo’s sensuous voice come to the forefront while airy keyboard lines float in the background to create a dreamy landscape.
As ‘Lust, Lust, Lust’ proves, The Raveonettes seem eager not to settle for a mainstream style of pop that can be predictable, even if it means staying relatively low-key and selling fewer records. They might have a few moments where their songs come up a bit short or sound a bit muddled up in reverb, but at least The Raveonettes have musical goods and originality.
These should help lead to greater success as long as they strive to maintain musical balance and let Foo’s superb vocal talents act as the centerpiece to make the songs truly stand out.