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Music Review: The Raveonettes – In and Out of Control

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The Raveonettes, Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo, are back with their fourth album. Produced by Thomas Troelsen, who co-wrote seven of the eleven songs, the band briefly transports the listener over the course of 38 minutes with tunes made timeless by their influences.

As they normally do, The Raveonettes' songs are wildly incongruous. The music, although arranged with a great deal of noise, is very upbeat and peppy in conjunction with the vocal delivery. The tone of Wagner's guitar is bright and comforting. However, these elements contrast sharply with the dark lyrics and tales about relationships that are “Gone Forever” or at least very troubled.

A victim of physical abuse sings album opener "Bang!" The person is aware of the issues yet the kiss and what the person thinks is "love keeps me hanging on." The narrator in “Last Dance” has to compete with his partner’s addiction that frequently results in overdoses. It's a theme that gets repeated in “D.R.U.G.S.” where the narrator’s partner is “sick and curled up” from abusing them.

Even more unsettling is “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed),” an inarguable sentiment, with Foo on lead vocal. The music appropriately is at times harsh and distorted throughout the song.

Yet, even with all the problems, “Suicide” is not the answer no matter if "your boyfriend's mean/ And your mom's a bitch." One escape from the heartache is to have a “Heart of Stone” otherwise you may end up like the narrator in the 80-second “Oh, I Buried You Today” who lets the person back when they "wouldn't stay away." The organ gives the song a hymnal quality. "Break Up Girls!” starts with about two minutes of the harshest distortion on the album. It’s another plea for women to “take a stand” for themselves.

In and Out of Control finds The Raveonettes in control and serves as an affirmation for people stuck in bad relationships who need some support. It's a worthy addition to their catalog and is best played loud.

Buying the album through iTunes provides a bonus track "Echoes" and a bonus video "Chelsea Sessions." RecordStoreDay.com offer a bonus CD with "The Chosen One" and "Planes Do Crash".

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS
  • http://thisweeksbestnewpopsong.blogspot.com JamesB

    I agree with the generally positive review here. The word you used “incongruous” seems to perfectly describe their output – an oddly appealing juxtaposition of the darkest lyrics and pure pop. I also recommend a song called “Candy” from a previous album.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Thanks, James