CSS – Cansei de Ser Sexy

Cansei de Ser Sexy

CSS is alien to me. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the musicians hailing from Brazil – although aggravating and inadequate, the songs’ lyrics are all in English. The lack of familiarity I have with their music is, frankly, because I’m not experiencing it as I suspect it’s meant to be: in a garish European nightclub inhabited by cheap drunks and easy dates, surrounded by walls painted by glaring neon, sexual recklessness, human perspiration, and various other bodily fluids. That is the only way I can imagine complacency within Cansei de Ser Sexy‘s sub-par grooves. Unfortunately, I’m sitting in front of a laptop with a pair of headphones acting as my gateway to the band’s “electronically sexed-up dance rock,” so out come the knives.

I haven’t encountered as much difficultly in a good while giving a disc a full listen as I did with CSS. It isn’t that I don’t like dance music, and it isn’t that I have a mean streak against foreign stuff, either. Cansei de Ser Sexy is just so acutely gaudy and trashy that, despite an abundance of spunk and sneer, it comes off as disaffected and impossibly irritating. Evidence: a passing glance at the lyrics for “Meeting Paris Hilton” yields the lines “I went to the bitch / The bitch was so hot / She came to me and said ‘Do you like the bitch, bitch?’” Further listening uncovers “Lick lick lick my art-tit / Suck suck suck my art-hole” and “I am so hardcore / I sell my crap and people ask for more” from “Art Bitch.”

But the unnecessary lyrical indiscretions aren’t limited to the two songs in question. Lead singer Lovefoxxx may be attempting to raise eyebrows and pique attention, but I can speculate it’ll result in many more eyes being rolled and CDs being ejected; English not being her native language is hardly a substantial excuse. I’ve nothing against vulgarity or profanity when used in fitting context, no matter how coarse or abundant, but with CSS the words are so peripheral to the songs themselves that it’s enough to make a preteen who just discovered cursing and the female anatomy blush. The music itself – typically eccentric, clangy electro-funk – isn’t near as compromising as the lyrics, but they don’t do enough to serve as savior to the album’s transgressions.

As provocative as Cansei de Ser Sexy may aspire to be, it’s little more than condensation on the indie world’s drinking glass. Despite the intense heat CSS and similar groups are borne of, it doesn’t take long for the temperature to drop and the tunes to be exposed for what they really are: shallow, redundant, narcissistic, and fundamentally unappealing. Paris Hilton may be their bitch, but I’ll pass.