An album that begins with a grainy “1, 2, 3” count off has either been recorded in someone’s basement or has a really bold start. Karen O’s striking vocals thankfully pull through the fuzzy-sounding recordings and give a bit of a charming feel to the overly simplistic style of the album.
The scratchy sounds tell almost exclusively of love, heartbreak, and heartache. Despite her more amped style as front woman for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Crush Songs” maintains a gloomy, forlorn, and almost detached air to it.
These darker, half-finished tracks are tricky to pass off as indie rock, and when there’s an entire album composed of them, you struggle to finish the track list and remember much of anything.
After a few listens, the incomplete demos Karen O has made into an album start to sound a little endearing, maybe good for listening to when it’s raining and you’re in the mood for something less than normal.
The somewhat enchanting songs have more than enough potential, and had they been fully developed with more instruments than a guitar and ukelele, “Crush Songs” could have been a far more memorable album.
Grade: C PLUS