Wild Beasts, 'Smother' (Domino)

Critical Mass
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Label: Domino

by Jon Young

Surprisingly hot to the touch, Wild Beasts' third album does more with less, paring down the quartet's groove-inflected chamber pop to expose raw burning desire. Between Hayden Thorpe's eerie falsetto and Tom Fleming's huskier sensuality, Smother expertly captures lust's unsettling urgency, equating it with fire, electricity, and predatory behavior. After "Bed of Nails," where Thorpe sighs, "I want my lips to blister when we kiss," and "Plaything," when he purrs wickedly, "Take off your chemise / And I'll do / As I please," you may be in the mood for a tamer kind of romance.

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