Quite simply, this is the album that Sleater-Kinney fans have been waiting for.
I was not initially sure if that meant it was a triumphant return. Though I was disappointed that the majority of the songs on The Corin Tucker Band's first album, 10,000 Years, did not sound like its lead-off single "Doubt," I got used to the lovelorn ballads after a while. As I listened to Kill My Blues the first time through, I wondered if Tucker's return to writing songs like those she had written ten years ago was really a healthy thing.
But it didn't take me long to be reassured that all is well. The lead-off track, "Groundhog Day" is as blustery as any Sleater-Kinney song -- though as I mentioned a few months ago, it's hard to take Tucker's third-wave feminist indignity seriously considering she was so enamored of Twilight that she got back into music just so she could submit songs to New Moon's soundtrack.
That being said, the songs here feel like they come from a much more personal place than any S-K album. The pulsing dance-punk featured here deals with such complex material as fear of death ("I Don't Wanna Go"), true love ("Kill My Blues") and budding teenage sexuality ("Neskowin"). "Joey" seems to be a sequel to Tucker's first runaway hit, "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone." Kill My Blues, to me, is a much more confident return to music a truer arc of growth than 10,000 Years. That's not to say it's a footnote in Tucker's otherwise illustrious ouvre. But I get the sense that Kill My Blues gives us more of a window into how Tucker actually thinks, and where she's been -- and if that's not compelling music, I don't know what is.
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