Wednesday, November 20, 2013

All the Way Thru

Song: All the Way Thru
Artist: JD Samson & MEN
Album: Labor

I was a pretty big Le Tigre fan and really liked their pop-minded last album The Island.  (Like Luscious Jackson, seemingly ending on a real high note.)  So with that band defunct it was nice to hear that two members, JD Samson & Johanna Fateman had formed a new band, and even better when I flipped for their debut song "Off Our Backs."  I wore that one out, and was a little disappointed with the resulting debut album Talk About Body which came out two years later.  It was solid enough, but "Off Our Backs" was a clear highlight.

I'm happy to report though their sophomore follow-up Labor, released last month is GREAT.  It keeps up with the debut's social causes, gender politics, and human commentary, yet does so with more subtlety.  The themes are less in-you-face and only come through with repeated listens.  What is in your face this time around though is the music.  Labor is way more beat-driven and clubby than the debut, yet very diverse and not one-note.

The album starts very strong with the throbbing "Power Strobe" and the killer Yuksek-assisted "All the Way Through," a building, impossibly cool love track.  I love it.  Also digging "Making Art," "Semenya," and towards the end of the album the bitter and pounding "Fucked Up" which is a gilted ANTHEM.  Before it the album sags ever so slightly, but may improve with more listens.  But "Fucked Up" really rockets things back to life.

This is a really great follow-up and definitely worth your time.  JD Samson's crowning achievement for sure.


All The Way Thru
Making Art

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