Kim and Kelley's vocal is as lazy and uncomplicated as we ever were a grungy,...
Jules Willis 2002-11-20
Nine years have passed since dishevelled, lazy grunge was 'now' and The Breeders released their second album, Last Splash to a platinum reception with their debut, Pod firmly under their belts.
In the interim the Deal sisters have been dealing with their respective addictions. Kim's compulsive studio habit and Kelley's compulsive drug habit have kept them away from the record-buying public until the endless song-tweaking and a change of line up resulted in their third, painfully but not intentionally, intimate album: Title TK.
Kimfelt journalist shorthand for title-to-come would suit the album's sentiment, and the first track Little Fury asserts Kim and Kelley's familiar vocal harmony as they promise they'll get there one day: "Title TK, if I don't black out".
Recruiting new members does not a band make however. The Breeders are Kim and Kelley Deal. Richard, Mando and Jose from the LA punk outfit 'Fear'sound like they played the parts they were given, although the album is no less effective for it. Kim Deal and Steve Albini produced the album as minimalist, analogue, lo-fi, anti-rock. Each song as a result is rendered a rawness, simplicity and individuality, devoid of the generic charmlessness that the digital studio can deliver.
Kim and Kelley's vocal is as lazy and uncomplicated as we ever were a grungy, adolescent nine years ago. It only serves to make Kim's feminine, soft, melodic voice compelling and endearing in comparison.
The whole record is simplicity itself. The distinctive harmonies created by the Deal sisters are the albums haunting hallmark, effective over a sparse demo-like texture and pared-down lazy beats totally unaffected by convention. The wonderfully half-hearted rousing call "round up holler girls" of the opener, "Little Fury" and the single that closes Title TK, "The Huffer", are the beatier frame on which a more pensive body is hung. There is also quirky hilarity of "Full on Idle", Kim rendering the lyrics unintelligible. The heartbreaking tonal twists and intimate muted musing "I am the make up on your eye" on the single "Off You". A lazily rocking bass riff and snare meanwhile underpins the morse interplay of two guitars and a characteristic Deal/Deal vocal harmony on the "The She", which is darker in comparison.
Listen to this record on your own, because the beauty in its simplicity is that it's highly personal and contemplative. You fill in your own gaps, you make your own story and like The Breeders, you remain unconcerned by popularity....