Best of #7: The fact that I love when art rock goes pop pretty much assures that I will garner very few cool points in my life. Last year's Dirty Projectors album is a perfect example: take a band I liked some songs from, but were generally a little grating on my nerves, and have them make an album that's a little catchier and dancier and I'm in. Xiu Xiu is another. Until this year's Dear God, I Hate Myself, I had thought they were pretty good, but had a hard time taking the sparse dark ballads seriously, which generally made me take the whole thing with a grain of salt. Then, more dance beats, fewer painful ballads, and I'm singing along with songs of self-hate and violent sex with total glee. It's still over-the-top with an intensity that feels like Christian guilt and I don't blame anyone for not being into it, but I'll just say this: Dear God, I Hate Myself is on point. A near-flawless effort that leaves you wanting more and has a good mixture of styles while still being totally cohesive. If you haven't dug it before, it might convert you. Xiu Xiu- Dear God I Hate Myself
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