Monday, November 23, 2009

Review: Asobi Seksu - Rewolf

A common element among many of the most compelling bands has always been the tendency to turn away from the sound that was known as their trademark, or that made them famous or acclaimed. Asobi Seksu is no exception. After the noisy, swirling guitars in the shoegaze masterpiece Citrus, 2009's Hush is a surprising, and successful movement away from the wall of reverb and distortion.

Recorded at the legendary Olympic Studios in London and previously released in the UK as Acoustic at Olympic Studios, Rewolf is another stop along the new direction. On these stripped-down, acoustic renditions of songs from all three albums, plus a stellar reworking of b-side "Breathe into Glass" and a cover of Hope Sandoval's "Suzanne", Rewolf highlights the band's penchant for richly gorgeous melodies. Like Hush before it, Rewolf serves as an opportunity to give a clearer emphasis on one aspect of Asobi Seksu that elevates the band past their contemporaries: Yuki Chikudate's voice. Ranging from powerfully soaring to delicately touching, Yuki's vocals stand out while at the same time complimenting the music as it is faithfully and creatively adapted for the unplugged instrumentation.

Like all good acoustic albums, Rewolf not only offers fans the opportunity to hear their favorite songs in a brand new way while still remaining true to what captured their fancy in the first place, but also gives new listeners a solid introduction to the band's discography that still drives them to check out the originals.

Purchase Rewolf on CD, white vinyl, or limited edition purple vinyl

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