Many will hate me for saying this, but there are arguably more similarities between the tunes on 23 and the bulk of Enya's canon (sorry, but it's true) than there are between Blonde Redhead circa 07 and the band in their original no-wave glory days. Not that there's anything wrong with that. 23 is fundamentally a more interesting album than 04's Misery Is A Butterfly, neither as cartoonishly bleak nor as sonically pristine. Kazu Makino's airy and occasionally multi-tracked vocals flutter over deliberately fragmented and fogged-up layers of fuzz, dreamy ambient guitar washes and twinkly sound effects tucked in the corners. The more percussive tracks here are particularly engaging. Elastic bass, downtempo beats and the crisp ring of a tambourine help propel the anthemic Silently, while Top Ranking soars on impatient guitar melodies, hi-hat and what sounds like a slide whistle.
Blonde Redhead get dreamy at the Opera House Friday (May 11).