Cigarettes After Sex: Cry (Partisan) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, September 25th, 2020  

Cigarettes After Sex



Jan 08, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Cigarettes After Sex (aka Greg Gonzalez) brought the sensuality back to indie rock with his 2017 self-titled debut, an album that, across swaying dreams like "K" and the unmatchable "Apocalypse," brought an unexpected edge of sexiness, open-heartedness and musical transportation to a rather staid scene.

Cry, the relatively swift follow-up is, if anything, even more moody, subtle, and ethereal than the debut, masterfully swooning into the sublime on songs such as "Kiss It Off Me," an addictively warm hug of a song that may have welcome, wandering hands. "Tell me it's love, tell me it's real," Gonzalez pleads on the lilting, softly embracing "Heavenly," reflecting the yearning nature of his songwriting.

Gonzalez's trademark Parker Fly drenched in candy-colored reverb characterizes the album-mystical and intimate, much like the lyrics on "You're the Only Good Thing In My Life." "Laying in the sun/Never need to tell me when you come/Because you know that I can just feel it," Gonzalez sings, his level of lyrical honesty and detail as precise and moving as his playing.

Then of course there's that voice. Gonzalez's feminine, hushed vocal tones lift the Lynchian arrangements to a level of intimacy that envelops for the durationit's a soft conversation, placed gently in your inner ear. As on the tenderly soaring title track, Gonzalez offering the savage self-assessment "I need to tell you something/My heart just can't be faithful for long/I swear I'll only make you cry," the heart-on-sleeve nature of the record can be a little disquieting, were it not paired with such plaintive delivery.

A band world-building effectively is a rare thing; Cigarettes After Sex have created a monochromatic, slow-motion universe of loss, love, hope, sex, and devotion that reaches new heights on this sophomore statement. (

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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