CSS – Planta
With former member (and apparent mastermind) Adriano Cintra off in a huff, the CSS señoritas are left to fend for themselves, giving us an LP put together in the ubiquitous Dave Sitek’s LA studio. The TV On The Radio guitarist/producer has offered sound tutelage, but has something left along with the stroppy Brazillian? Lovefoxxx and co are known for their snarky synths and sassy rave-candy. Planta, unfortunately, comes across as a little bereft.
Granted, the album opens confidently, with tracks like Honey offering resonant vocals and 80s muscle. But some, like Too Hot, are a sullen drag. Honourable mention goes to Dynamite for its pace and bite, but short of potent and nostalgic closer Faith in Love (and the dubby beats of Sweet), there are mopey voids here lacking the spice we know from past offerings. Where’s the sweat? Where’s the attitude? CSS are meant to be hot; Planta is ultimately tepid and falls short of their own standards. [George Sully]