Release Date: Jul 11, 2006
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
If a pile of 1979-80 disco and post-punk records washed up on a Brazilian beach, the lucky beneficiaries would party like CSS. The bonkers Sao Paulo quintet (their full name means "tired of being sexy") are mixing up all the bits the Futureheads passed over in the quest for retro cool. Thus, they sound like an unlikely, brilliantly wrong fusion of Tom Tom Club, dance culture and the Fall, with a half-Japanese singer called Lovefoxx throwing in risqué lyrical curveballs.
You've gotta love the way Brazilian art rock/dance-pop act CSS kicks off their 2006 release Cansei de Ser Sexy -- which is Portuguese for "Tired of Being Sexy" -- with a rousing chant of "CSS sucks!" That self-effacing quality walks the line between high-art irony and unabashed silliness -- slyly setting the tone for a sensual and quirky album. The song "Artbitch" finds singer Lovefoxxx cattily shouting that she's an artist who only shows her work where there's free alcohol, and the track "Meeting Paris Hilton" either recounts a startling encounter with the bony socialite or makes a clever and entertaining lyrical desensitization of the word bitch -- or maybe both. The whole disc has you chuckling and scratching your head over the words, while the electronic rhythms and meticulously layered crunchy guitars send you straight onto the dancefloor.
Insouciant, deliberately offensive, sexy and ephemeral, Cansei de Ser Sexy is a pretty girl flipping you the bird over her shoulder, daring you to call her on it as she sashays out of your life. And forget about gender-bending the metaphor, because a girl yelling out "Suck, suck, suck my art hole," in cheerleader cadences is a whole 'nother thing than it would be with a guy at the mic. (It's less of a threat and more of an offer, for one thing.) Brash to the point of don't-give-a-fuck, cuter than Peaches but just as scatological, these five girls and one boy from Sao Paulo subvert disco beats into sardonic anti-anthems about sex and shallowness, sex and art world pretense, sex and music and, well, more sex.