Xiu Xiu – Dear God, I Hate Myself Xiu Xiu – Dear God, I Hate Myself

Xiu Xiu - Dear God, I Hate Myself

Xiu Xiu - Dear God, I Hate Myself

Jamie Stewart, creator of Xiu Xiu (pronounced shoe-shoe), is most comfortable when he is abrasive and making his onlookers squirm.  For the most recent proof take a look at the video made for the first single off of Dear God, I Hate Myself.  Jamie Stewart sitting on a couch with his new band member Angela Seo.  Jamie is framed very tightly, so tightly that only half of him is showing; yet there he is nonetheless eating a snickers bar while the action is on Angela as she is continuously sticking her fingers down her throat, feeding the imaginary birds, and repeating.  For the record, Angela said the video was all her idea.  Perhaps she is going to fit in perfectly.

With such a strong and offensive video, most would think the album would follow the same path.  Yet here it is and Dear God, I Hate Myself is the most accessible work from Jamie Stewart and his ragtag bunch of fill-ins to date.  It is a very gothic, synth, and drum heavy sound that continues throughout.  Three tracks were primarily created on a Nintendo DS (what Jamie credits as “game boy”); including the title track.  Not exactly renowned for the hooks and catchiness of his songs, it is a surprising gift when listening to the first few tracks.  “Gray Death” opens holding a prominent guitar sound; yet do not expect this to be found much more in the rest of the album.  A driving drum sound and a pulsating synth sound on “Chocolate Makes You Happy” makes the lyrics covering coco bulimia easier to swallow (Yes I went there).

Hammering sadness is what Jamie Stewart has an affinity for singing about it, and by Jove, hammering sadness is what you get.  “Despair will hold a place in my heart, a bigger one than you do, I will always be nicer to the cat, than I am to you” is the sampling of heart-filled warmth you will find on the title track.  Perhaps the strongest track on Dear God is the one that seems the most out of place.  “Cumberland Gap” is a completely folk infused song for a short 95 seconds.  Stewart finger plucks from a banjo and sets his vocals nicely over a resonating guitar and drums.  Wondering why it is included at all, it serves as a nice break, only to be left wanting more.

As a package, what you get here is a bit unexpected if you have followed the Xiu Xiu catalog.  As a new listener, it could be something that serves as a jumping off point.  If music hits you emotionally, you might want to bring a box of tissues and stay away from all sharp objects.

Track Listing:

1. Gray Death
2. Chocolate Makes You Happy
3. Apple For Brain
4. House Sparrow
5. Hyunhye’s Theme
6. Dear God, I Hate Myself
7. Secret Motel
8. Falkland Rd.
9. The Falbrizio Palumbo Retaliation
10. Cumberland Gap
11. This Too Shall Pass Away (For Freddy)
12. Impossible Feeling

Xiu Xiu - Dear God, I Hate Myself, reviewed by Baer on 2010-02-26T14:33:26-08:00 rating 3.1 out of 5

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