Not Tired of Being Sexy Yet

Brazilian beat makers don't lose a step on sophomore release

Becky Lang

C

Donkey

Artist: CSS
Label: Subpop

cansei de Ser Sexy are a step away from the DIY, copyright-irreverence of Brazil’s latest lovable music export – Baile Funk. While funkees tend to nab beats from old kitschy pop songs and dirty them up, CSS makes their own, delivering irony and innuendo in terse and addictively accented English.

Their name is nicked from a quote that Beyonce Knowles was unfortunate enough to say on record, and means “I’m tired of being sexy.” On their debut album, “Donkey,” song titles like “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Sex From Above” got their tracks noticed for their articulate skankiness and danceable beats, and “Donkey” delivers with more of the same.

“Beautiful Song” is a bouncy, chant-filled dance track, its blowing sound effects and rapid pace making you feel the wind in their hair. It’s so L.A. that the hopefully short-lived show “Sunset Tan” could use it as its intro.

The first single from the album, “Rat is Dead (Rage),” is a story about a girl in a cyclone of anger, inspiring singer Lovefoxxx to yelp in a way that flirts with the stylings of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, without ever letting the song be anything but completely catchy pop.

No songs on “Donkey” feel like filler between singles and, despite having a rather simple formula of whapping beats + insincere vocals + shocking song titles, each track is distinct.

On “Believe Achieve,” they repeat the title’s mantra with their lips sneered. Occasionally, listening to a CSS album feels like hanging out with those kids in religion class who snort at the teacher and smoke cigarettes during snack breaks. If you were one of those kids, “Donkey” will make you feel right at home.