CSS – ‘Planta’

Only rare glimpses of sexy on an album that mostly just feels tired

When they formed in São Paulo in 2003, this hilarious bunch of baile-funkin’ art-pop pranksters took their name from a Beyoncé quote: CSS is short for Cansei De Ser Sexy, or “I got tired of being sexy” in Portuguese. Ten years later, the Brazilians aren’t quite so up-to-the-second on popular culture. Where their 2005 debut had a zeitgeisty track called ‘Meeting Paris Hilton’, album four features one with the title ‘Frankie Goes To North Hollywood’. Now reduced to a four-piece following the departure of guitarist-producer Adriano Cintra (who wrote the bulk of the band’s earlier hits) CSS have drafted in TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek to produce ‘Planta’, but he’s been given a thin soup to season. The recipe is basically stale electro-pop sprinkled with rock and reggae – and CSS include just two chunks of satisfying tuneage: ‘Into The Sun’, which is genuinely anthemic, and the lusty ‘Too Hot’, a rare glimpse of sexy on an album that mostly just feels tired.

Nick Levine

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