Bonde Redhead Spreads its Wings
At the beginning of â€šÃ„ÃºElephant Woman,â€šÃ„Ã¹ the opening track from Misery is a Butterfly, Blonde Redhead greets you with a gentle, meandering guitar. However, a scattered drum beat starts to bleed through, and suddenly the song gives way to an overflow of what sounds like brooding chamber music, plunging you into a delicately dark landscape that spans the length of the album. Blonde Redheadâ€šÃ„Ã´s latest endeavor expands on the sound of their 2000 release, Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons, and with the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s departure from Touch & Go Records, it serves as a once-and-for-all break with their noise-rock origins.
MiaB is Blonde Redheadâ€šÃ„Ã´s most emotional album to date, where Kazu Makino and Amedeo Pace deal with romantic insecurity and heartache. On the distant â€šÃ„ÃºFalling Man,â€šÃ„Ã¹ Amedeo addresses what he sees is the inevitability of hurt when he admits â€šÃ„ÃºI am just a man still learning how to fall.â€šÃ„Ã¹ On MiaB, if the lyrics provide the misery, then Makinoâ€šÃ„Ã´s fragile, whispered singing, and Amedeoâ€šÃ„Ã´s desperately vulnerable whine are the incarnation of the butterfly.
The collection of string instruments and eerily simple keyboards, as in â€šÃ„ÃºMelodyâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºElephant Woman,â€šÃ„Ã¹ only enhance the melancholy mood the albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s title suggests. Though the album threatens to sag with the cumbersome â€šÃ„ÃºAnticipation,â€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„ÃºMaddening Cloudâ€šÃ„Ã¹ swoops in with Simone Paceâ€šÃ„Ã´s restless drums and Amedeoâ€šÃ„Ã´s most energetic vocals, providing a needed jolt. MiaBâ€šÃ„Ã´s high point is the duet, â€šÃ„ÃºPink Love.â€šÃ„Ã¹ When Makinoâ€šÃ„Ã´s haunting voice takes over for Amedeo, your heart will swell. The stripped-down â€šÃ„ÃºEquusâ€šÃ„Ã¹ ends the album with such energy that you will immediately take another plunge. With MiaB, Blonde Redhead has released a solid album that demonstrates both their maturity and talent.