CSS: Cansei De Ser Sexy

Cansei De Ser Sexy
Sub Pop

Just as Brazilian tropicalia and the evergreen songcraft of practitioners like Caetano Veloso and Os Mutantes can teach us what effect cultural exports like Bob Dylan, rock 'n' roll, and CIA-funded military dictatorships have on a country's native music forms, so do CSS show us our current state of influence throughout the world. This chic six-piece from São Paulo, who surround lone guy Adriano Cintra with five insouciant and stylish moças, take their unabbreviated name from a translated Beyoncé quote about how she's "tired of being sexy." One primitive, squelchy, endearing track on their self-titled debut, called "Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above," sounds like Vice—the hedonistic magazine, record label, and branding company—soundtracking a one-night stand with DFA1979's strand of overhyped fake metal. Elsewhere, they share many of the mag's loves, extolling the virtues (and, uh...vices) of "Alcohol" and "Art Bitch." Completing the pop culture hat trick, there's a song about Paris Hilton, naturally called "Meeting Paris Hilton." Over an electro shimmer that quickly loses its glitter, this catty meeting of the minds gets fleshed out with the word "bitch" repeated 44 times in three minutes. An exquisite corpse of disco bass, water cooler gloops, and handclaps helps tune down the insipid lines (well, at least until they switch to the Portuguese tongue) of "Music Is My Hot Hot Sex," while the lyrics of "CSS Suxxx" (the title repeated as mantra) is somehow its sprightliest, least suxxxy moment.