Lucius - NUDES
NUDES is a bit of an odd album for the twin like duo of Brooklyn singers Lucius. Jess Wolf and Holly Laessig look damn near identical, one of the things they use to their advantage in live shows as they stand framed by spotlight, just them and a microphone. It is that idea that lead them to this album, a mix of covers, re-dos and a few originals all put through the acoustic lens. Should a band with three albums under their belt be releasing an acoustic version of B-sides and covers? Probably not, and that place is what feels the most awkward here. After a very successful tour with Roger Waters last summer the duo seemed to have absorbed some of his street cred, or so they think. Their deliver is straight 60s, with this album often sounding like it was recorded 50 years ago. It's beatnick meets flower child, and it's boring as all hell. Their voices are fine, but we've heard the females duo sing these type of singer songwriter songs so many times and there is zero new territory being blazed here. There is this sense of a smokey coffee shop, and some hipsters being REALLY into this, but no one knowing really why. "Something About You" tries to be this big ass romp, but the instrumentation is so sparse and the girls' voices so grading that you can never really buy in. The sing so high pitched for the entire record and there is zero low-end to balance them out. It's hard when someone sounds so full invested in what they are doing, but it still sounds bad. This sounds pretty damn bad.
On "Neighbors" Lucius sound so incredibly self important it's like they are signing a forged political anthem but their voices making it feel like a love song, and that just doesn't work. "Eventually" originally made popular by Tame Impala wilts away here sounding like some sing-a-long bullshit. They just aren't doing a single special things with these songs, they are just singing them with an acoustic which could not sound more ridiculous in 2018. We've all already had that let's sing some songs together event by a fire, but is it still something someone is looking for in their music? It's been done so much better, and if Lucius can't bring anything new to the table why should we care? When they sing big like on "Million Dollar Secret" it misses the mark so huge, but they are so invested it's almost laughable. Roger Waters joins the duo on "Goodnight, Irene" a lo-fi recording which sounds more dated than anything else on the record and like it should have been on the "O' Brother Where Art Thou" Soundtrack from 18 years ago. If you like grading singing, dated songs and an album that is one note throughout then this is the record for you, if not and you are like every other person in the world avoid this thing like the plague.
3.0 out of 10