Misery Is A Butterfly
By: Eric Greenwood
Blonde Redhead's foray into strings and synths has muted what made it great on its first four albums. Despite, Kazudo Makino's uniquely shrill yelp and Amedo Pace's countering tenor, Blonde Redhead's delineating factor has always been the nuanced way it incorporated discordancy into its often-delicate compositions. Misery Is A Butterfly is the band's first album for 4AD, and it's almost as if the record were made just to fit into that label's distinguished cannon. Atmospherics take precedent over tonal confrontation, which dulls Blonde Redhead's jagged, no wave edges way too much. Strings for the sake of strings are irksome in contexts where space would prove the better foil. After many tries, I can't seem to become attached to this record on any substantive level. The songs are uninvolving and in desperate need of editing. Even the standout, "Equus", sounds like Blonde Redhead on a lackadaisical day, though it's catchy enough. I can't help but feel like I waited four years…for this?