Xiu Xiu's new album, "Dear God, I Hate Myself" comes out today on Kill Rock Stars. While I've always taken Xiu Xiu with a grain of salt, not totally being able to totally embrace the intensity and self-indulgence, this album has completely won me over. "Dear God, I Hate Myself" combines a heavy emphasis on electronics and drum programming (perhaps due to the addition of new full-time member Angela Seo) with the percussion and sonic intracies of Ches Smith (John Zorn, Terry Riley, Marc Ribot) and puts melodramatic dance tracks alongside creepy acoustic ballads ("Hyunhye's Theme"), banjo traditionals ("Cumberland Gap") and plodding goth bass numbers ("Falkland Rd"). All combining to make completely addicting art pop. (Even more intense than the album is the video for the album's title track, with Angela Seo exhibiting her abilities to make herself vomit for three and a half minutes while Jamie Stewart eats a candy bar and rocks out next to her.) The only complaint I would make of this album is that it's over too soon. 36 minutes just seems to be over while I'm still waiting for the album to hit some painful climax. While I'm glad they ended their most pop-infused effort yet with a discordant cello art-rock track, I think the final track is actually the perfect set-up for some kind of epic; something sprawling and over-the-top. Still, I recognize that wanting more is a clear sign that, whatever they're doing, they're doing right. The violent and self-indulgent themes of his songs are always fascinating to me, tempered by how ridiculous I find it- in the way that early goth and darkwave is more silly than scary. But, for some reason, on this release, I can allow myself to get more into the stories and relate to the unfortunate reality of how horrible we as humans can be- treating cats better than partners, as is the scenario on the album's title track, one of four songs composed almost entirely on Nintendo DS. Xiu Xiu- Dear God, I Hate Myself
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