The Student Playlist

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REVIEW: Cigarettes After Sex – ‘Cry’ (Partisan)


In a sentence:

Another album of heartache set to exquisitely produced dream-pop, Greg Gonzalez’s second Cigarettes After Sex album ‘Cry’ feels like an extension of the debut.

Similar to the outfit’s eponymous debut album, Cry is a collection of songs set in an ambient atmosphere with a sombre mood weighing over it, and lyrics about love (or lack thereof) being the meat and bones of the entire record. Cigarettes After Sex used that formula in a skilful way two years ago, only to come back with music that soothes your soul as much as the previous material did. 

With Cry, the American band didn’t look to surprise anyone, but rather deliver another dose of what people loved so much from their previous album – the intensely emotional compositions that go can go beyond melancholy while simultaneously making its listeners appreciate the feeling of sadness. The bitter-sweet sensation is something of a staple for Greg Gonzalez (the band’s founder, singer and guitarist) and his bandmates, who are perfectly aware that a healthy measure of romantic sentiment can be as pleasurable as the feeling of happiness and bliss.

Cry offers countless, vivid descriptions of what makes everyone’s hearts tremble a little and wraps them in dreamy arrangements, which help the words flow freely: “And though I guess it had to come to an end, No one else could have the love we shared” on ‘Don’t Let Me Go’ or “Do what your heart desires, Love is always strange when it just starts” on ‘You’re The Only Good Thing In My Life’ are down to earth and simple, yet so effective when it comes to connecting with the audience.

At the same time, while Cry is a decent effort that can be really enjoyable, it could definitely use a bit more inventiveness on the instrumental side, which overlaps with the band’s previous material quite strongly. While the argument that “if something works well, why change it” could be valid here, in music it can very quickly lead to boredom and predictability. Moreover, the album misses a good hook, such as on ‘Neon Moon’, which would bring a little more life to the entire record. Nevertheless, Cigarettes After Sex know what they’re best at and have used it to record another undeniably beautiful album that may as well be an extension of their debut – but we can only hope that this will all eventually lead to something more exciting in the future. (6/10) (Alicja Rutkowska)

Listen to by Cigarettes After Sex here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

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