CSS has never been a band to be trifled with. Their recently released third album, La Liberaciòn, is a testament to the Brazilian quintet’s unwavering devotion to creating music that defies expectations and ordinary dance floor beats. Comprised of lead singer Lovefoxxx, producer/founder/drummer Adriano Ferreira Cintra, guitarist/drummer Luiza Sá, guitarist Ana Rezende, and guitarist/drummer Carolina Parra—all hailing from São Paolo—CSS is by far one of the most refreshingly zany bands to materialize in a long time.
La Liberaciòn opens with the earnest and succinct “I Love You.” Lovefoxxx urges you to “feel the beat of my heart” for most of the song. It is, in many ways, similar to the sort of simplistic introduction (“CSS Suxxx”) that appeared on their 2006 debut, Cansei de ser Sexy. Naturally, with five years having passed, the band—fun-loving though they may be—has noticeably matured. A fact that is evident on “City Grrl” (that’s just the norm for spelling “girl” now) featuring the always over the top SSION, wherein Lovefoxxx notes, “In the big city, nothing hurts”—presumably because everyone is numb to the incongruous stimuli around them.
The first single from La Liberaciòn, “Hits Me Like A Rock” featuring Primal Scream/The Jesus and Mary Chain frontman Bobby Gillespie, is even more addictive than their legendary first single “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex,” which is a fairly incredible feat.
“Echo of Love” has this strangely folk sounding beat, or as folk sounding as people from Brazil can get. “Just let it go, enjoy it while it lasts” is the message CSS wishes to convey on this track, an aphorism that goes hand in hand with the album’s title. “You Could Have It All” slows the pace of the album down a bit, while still maintaining one of CSS’ archetypal electro beats. It is also one of the more narratively structured songs, with Lovefoxxx painting the following picture: “We met in the music shop, they were playing our favorite band. After years of walking hand in hand, we were too busy to hang with our friends.”
“La Liberaciòn” is a rock song with Lovefoxxx’s typical brand of enthusiasm as she sings in her mother tongue, “I’m tired of hoping/Ran out there today/Screaming a crazy, crazy poem/Naked down the street smiling.” My Portuguese may be a bit off, but I think that’s how Lovefoxxx generally sounds when she speaks English. “Ruby Eyes” vaguely compares to an Elvis Costello song if Elvis Costello wasn’t so whiny and sang songs about smoking joints. “Rhythm to the Rebels” asks, “Wanna break some rules? I’d love to.” It’s one of the more abrasive tracks on the album.
“Red Alert” featuring Ratatat tells the tale of a girl who is “all dressed up with nowhere to go, feeling the rhythm of casual love.” The song has a somewhat melancholic backbeat that presents an interesting dichotomy to obsequious lyrics like, “Tell me what you want and I’m ready to go.” Perhaps the contrast is meant to show how empty the concept of love is in the modern age.
The second to last song, “Fuck Everything,” showcases CSS’ particular flavor of humor. Lovefoxxx complains, “Nothing ever happens in this neighborhood. I wanna rip my eyes out.” The song is barely two and a half minutes and features a brief pause of silence in between the album’s closer, “Yolanda,” before which Lovefoxxx is compelled to tell you, “Hi, my name is Lovefoxxx and I’m 12 years old. I like going to the pub with the gays, I like buying pencils and pens, I like cooking, and I like…cookies.”
So, basically, La Liberaciòn, completely outshines CSS’ sophomore album, Donkey, and nearly eclipses the group’s irreverent and unprecedented first album, Cansei de ser Sexy. Here’s hoping the fourth album gives us a collaboration with Lovefoxxx’s former fiancé, Simon Taylor of The Klaxons.