Album review: Asobi Seksu



* Asobi Seksu is the colloquial translation for “playful sex” in Japanese.

* Asobi Seksu’s lead vocalist/keyboardist Yuki Chikudate got standing ovations at child prodigy recitals when she was just 8.

* The melody of the closing track on ‘Hush’, ‘Blind Little Rain’ came to guitarist James Hanna during a mushroom trip in Martha’s Vineyard.

If ‘Hush’ is an apt title for this New York quartet’s latest album (it is), then perhaps its predecessors should have been called something like ‘Sass’ and ‘Fuck’. See, on their third release Asobi Seksu have toned down the fuzz’n’raunch of old and come over all Cocteau Twins-y and mature – not necessarily a bad thing, just quite a bit less visceral.

‘Familiar Light’ and lead single ‘Me & Mary’ hint at what we could have won (namely the pummelling drums and distorted guitar squall of old, with Yuki Chikudate purring like a sex kitten over the top), while the rest… well, the rest is nice, but nice like, say, a moderately warm bath. Which isn’t what anybody wants really, is it? So, next time: less ‘Hush’, and more ‘Fuck’ please, Asobi.

Rob Webb