Cigarettes After Sex does not disappoint with the release of their second studio album, “Cry.” Despite having a limited discography released over a decade, the band has amassed a cult following. Cigarettes After Sex proves to be a real artist’s artist, as they put quality over quantity.
Long-anticipated album “Cry” proves to be worth the wait and makes even the most cynical of listeners yearn to fall in love. “Cry” does not romanticize love, but its sound translates to the rawness and vulnerability that is involved with relationships new and old. The band stays true to its slowcore, dream-pop sound throughout the album while also putting lead vocalist Greg Gonzalez’s androgynous and siren-like voice front and center.
“Cry” begins with tune “Don’t Let Me Go” an ode to a lost first love and the aches of the desperation and longing for someone that can still be felt years after the relationship is over. It is a song with which every listener can relate, whether it is a friend or lover that has become estranged.
The next song, “Kiss It Off Me,” has a more sensual sound that sings of the balance between love and lust. This song is a prime example of how Cigarettes After Sex can make heartbreak sound so sweet. This song like many of their others speak about the beauty of not just the beginnings and endings of relationships, but also the middle and mundane.
Another standout track, “You’re the Only Good Thing in My Life,” focuses on the passion felt for someone you are in a relationship with or would like to be in a relationship with. This song folds in intimacy with romance in an effortless way. Track “Hentai” unsurprisingly begins with vulgar lyrics, but takes a dark turn after the first verse with, “Told you I wanted to die in an airplane crash / Over the ocean, thought it was romantic.” This song’s bleak lyrics are juxtaposed with the vocalist’s enchanting and gentle voice.
Top standout track “Falling in Love” was the second single released off the album and is extremely reminiscent of their first self-titled album. The vocals are disciplined and airy, mimicking the feeling of flying or being high off love. Gonzalez uses an androgynous tone to amplify the ambient, but mellow backing band.
This album paints a strikingly accurate representation of love with broad strokes that anyone can relate to. “Cry” will make the listener want to light his or her favorite candle, use that bath bomb that he or she has been saving, and open a cheap bottle of wine. The album’s sound drags on in the best way. It slows down time and makes listeners hang on to every word.