The Raveonettes’ dark, pop style evident on latest album
March 6, 2008
The Raveonettes are like a midnight alley in a pale moonlight: it’s frightening, it’s cold and probably dangerous. Yet, there’s a mystery which draws you to explore it again and again.
Of course, nothing less could be expected of them. Their first single a few years back, “That Great Love Sound,” was a slap in the face, combining upbeat 60’s pop with dark lyrics reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe. Now, on Lust Lust Lust, their third album, the duo from Denmark have hardly changed. No complaints here.
Opening the disc is “Aly, Walk With Me,” a power march of monochrome guitars and heavy snare beats featuring lines like “Aly, step right out of my head and kiss me goodnight / Aly walk with me in my dreams all through the night.” Black never sounded so sexy. They continue to drive a familiar-yet-not sound, using old pop structures and thrashing them into oblivion. “Dead Sound” is based of a riff similar to a Beach Boys tune, only the guitars are fuzzed out and distant, the vocals are cynical and dry, and it ends with a whirlwind of feedback, like dust moving through a graveyard. It’s mesmerizing.
Needless to say, this isn’t rainy day music. Everything on Lust Lust Lust is lonely and obsolete. Front man Sune Rose Wagner delves into the dark parts of our soul and drags back poetry like “Cause of you / And your charms / Destroyed all my thoughts / Of love in my arms.” Bassist Sharin Foo dives along with him, as she croons on “Black Satin:” “Sweet night she’s on a roll / Covers me with all her black / Satin dress takes me aback / And I drown yeah I drown.” The hopeless tone is stark and present. The Raves are not there to coddle you.
All the while they play with a gritty pop attitude. The guitars pop, the drum beats are quick and the hooks are addicting. And then there are the harmonies that Wagner and Foo create. When the two sing together, their voices melt, and you forget the tragedies and burns within their music.
That’s what makes The Raveonettes stand out. They’re attempting to create beauty against a wave of black.
Matthew Loosbrock is a student at UW-River Falls.