The Center Won't Hold
August 16, 2019 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Four years after the release of No Cities to Love and one month after drummer Janet Weiss left the band, Sleater-Kinney released its new album today. Called The Center Won't Hold it's a clear collaboration with Annie Clark (St. Vincent) and for better or worse, a clear departure from their older material. What it means to Listen to Sleater-Kinney now. (track listing inside)

Track Listing:
1. The Center Won't Hold (Lyric Video)
2. Hurry on Home (Lyric Video)
3. Reach Out
4. Can I Go On? (Lyric Video)
5. Restless
7. LOVE (Lyric Video)
8. Bad Dance
9. The Future is Here (Lyric Video)
10. The Dog/The Body
11. Broken (Live version)

Song Exploder episode for The Future is Here
posted by dinty_moore (54 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
My introduction to S-K was "The Woods" which was also touted as a major departure from their previous stuff. I loved it. Here's hoping this is just as good.
posted by hwestiii at 12:47 PM on August 16, 2019 [5 favorites]

I just finished my first listen, and I'm not really sure where I stand. But that's been true of my relationship with Sleater-Kinney since No Cities to Love, really.

The 2015 album was pretty good, but overwhelming all of that was the visceral sense that S-K filled a place in my music life years ago that no longer needed filling, as if their time for me had passed. It's clear they're still a vital musical force; it just feels like now we're two ships passing in the night, rather than something I clung to like a liferaft in high school. Nothing stuck with me the same way The Hot Rock or Dig Me Out did, but it was really hard to decide if that was because of something intrinsic to Sleater-Kinney or if it's just an artifact of me not being a teenager anymore and having a fundamentally different relationship to music now, or some combination of both.

The Center Won't Hold is chaotic; Sleater-Kinney juggle genres and sounds in a way they've never really done before on a single album, save maybe for One Beat. I think it's going to take a while for that chaos to resolve in my head. But a few things definitely stand out. There's more malice; imagine every song had the vocal malice of a "Modern Girl" or a "Jumpers" and you've got 80% of this album. It makes the songs that don't fit that vague sonic template, like "Restless," feel almost out of time. It's an unsettling album, I think intentionally so. It's a much bigger departure than The Woods ever was.

I think it was the Stereogum review that mentioned that more than ever before, Sleater-Kinney is the Carrie Brownstein show. Back in the self-titled and Call the Doctor days, the focus was on Corin Tucker's amazing voice, and by the time of The Hot Rock all three members were in perfect sync, equal parts of the whole. But even on No Cities to Love I got the sense that Tucker had kind of taken a back seat, whether by her own design or due to other factors. And though she has some of the biggest moments here—the album closer "Broken," for example—the blueprints here feel more the work of Brownstein and Annie Clark. As someone whose introduction to Sleater-Kinney is Tucker unleashing on the title track of Dig Me Out, this can't help but feel weird.

I am super curious to hear where everyone else stands on the album.
posted by chrominance at 1:01 PM on August 16, 2019 [17 favorites]

The parts I've heard so far have been pretty much in-line with No Cities to Love (which is not at all a bad thing), so I find the whole business about it being a huge departure for them kind of confusing. Like, yeah, it's pretty different from their 25-year-old debut album, but it's very similar to the last thing they released, which is usually how this sort of thing goes?
posted by tobascodagama at 1:02 PM on August 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

Kinda scared to listen. Worried they did Janet dirty. Anyone wanna assuage my fears?
posted by whuppy at 1:03 PM on August 16, 2019

Janet was also in a car accident recently and has suffered some not-inconsiderable injuries as a result.
posted by radiosilents at 1:04 PM on August 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

Kinda scared to listen. Worried they did Janet dirty. Anyone wanna assuage my fears?

Janet's still playing on the album as great as ever, but there's a lot more synth sounds. I don't think people would be making as much of a deal about it if she hadn't also left the band.
posted by dinty_moore at 1:06 PM on August 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

I think I need to listen to No Cities to Love again because my initial impression was that this was a departure even from that album, which felt like S-K figuring out how its core components would be reconstituted a decade later. It's still predominantly guitar-driven and there are still elements of vocal and guitar interplay between Brownstein and Tucker. The Center Won't Hold is much more synth-heavy, a lot more glam, and as noted in several reviews, is much more cleanly divided into Brownstein songs and Tucker songs.

Re: did the band do Janet dirty, I don't really think so. I think it's more that the band is changing its sound and relying more on drum machines, and naturally that's going to make it weird for your drummer.
posted by chrominance at 1:10 PM on August 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't think there's any reason not to take Weiss' statement at face value? I hope she has an uneventful recovery! She regularly records for and tours with at least two other bands, plus she is a studio musician as well. She has other creative outlets if SK isn't the right fit anymore.
posted by muddgirl at 1:19 PM on August 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

Count me in as another listener who feels like this is a pretty natural next step in the most recent 3-4 albums. It would be jarring if it was the first thing you've heard since All Hands on the Bad One, but it carries forward a lot of stuff that was already there or halfway-there on No Cities to Love.

Additionally, I think any album that is produced by someone with such a distinctive sound and style is going to come off as more of a collaboration than "a pure S-K album." As a friend of mine posted on Twitter, "I'd complain that the new Sleater-Kinney sounds a lot like St. Vincent, but what the fuck kind of complaint is that?"
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:20 PM on August 16, 2019 [5 favorites]

Thanks guys, listening now. I think Corrin sounds like what Annie wishes she sounded like. (Not that that's a bad thing!)

On preview jinx Blast Hardcheese!
posted by whuppy at 1:21 PM on August 16, 2019

I absolutely loved No Cities to Love, and at one point probably cycled through most of the album as my favorite, need to listen to on repeat over and over again song. There's a couple of songs that grab me the same way on this album, but the lows seem lower (restless/ruins just doesn't work for me). Maybe that'll change - this is just on first listen.

The Brownstein/Tucker vocal separation hits me more than the synth as 'very different from other S-K albums'. It's something that you really notice after a few songs, and really heightens the feeling of isolation. Weirdly, I think the album it reminds me of most is One Beat? Part of that is the same feeling of anxiousness, the same feeling of uneven ground.

I've got tickets to their October 15th show, and I'm wondering what that's going to be like.
posted by dinty_moore at 1:24 PM on August 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Weirdly, I think the album it reminds me of most is One Beat? Part of that is the same feeling of anxiousness, the same feeling of uneven ground.

I've always had a real soft spot for One Beat, so that may go a long way to explaining my fondness for this album.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:27 PM on August 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Saw Weiss play with SM and the Jicks a while back...

She's a badass..
posted by Windopaene at 1:27 PM on August 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also, oof - hadn't heard about the car accident! Hope Janet recovers well!
posted by dinty_moore at 1:29 PM on August 16, 2019

I've tended generally to prefer synth drums over the real deal, not that the artistry of drumming is to be discounted or ignored, it's just not my jam. It might just be a percussion thing, I am less jolted by digital percussion perhaps. I'm almost through this album. I've enjoyed SK songs before but I tended to get fatigued by the full ride, though definitely errant singles work themselves in my various burned CD mixes for my car. This album changes it up enough to keep it an interesting listen through the whole album.

I've really been enjoying this, Annie Clark owns bones and I also really like Carrie so I am happy with the "Carrey Brownstein Show" if that's meant to be derisive in any way. The album feels varied, each song distinct, they don't bleed all together.

I am mostly bummed I read about this album in this framing. As someone without a pony in this race or concern for "SK purity" it seems to throw a lot of unnecessary shade at, for whatever it is, is an interesting album of music made by several incredibly talented people.
posted by GoblinHoney at 1:29 PM on August 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

When The Hot Rock came out, it took me a while to adjust to the shift from their first three albums. Looking back, I can see that as their pivot album to the next three, which all took a while to grow on me but now I love. This album is another pivot to something entirely new. I've only listened once and didn't dislike it but it also doesn't feel as strong or as coherent as their other works.

Maybe they'll keep going in this new vein, maybe it'll reduce to a Brownstein solo project, who knows. What I do know is that Janet leaving made my decision easier about the NYC show and whether to plunk down way too much money for tickets (way too much because of Ticketmaster's obscene service charge). It does explain why tickets are so available when the last tour sold out in 10 seconds.
posted by kokaku at 1:32 PM on August 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

I am mostly bummed I read about this album in this framing. As someone without a pony in this race or concern for "SK purity" it seems to throw a lot of unnecessary shade at, for whatever it is, is an interesting album of music made by several incredibly talented people.

No shade was meant to be thrown in the framing of this post - I'm pretty undecided about how I feel about the album as a whole so far, and don't necessarily mind the fact that it feels different - just that it does, and some people seem to really like the change, some people don't.
posted by dinty_moore at 1:50 PM on August 16, 2019

Annie Clark looms large on lots of these tracks, in a way that makes it feel kind of like a St. Vincent side project.

That said, Hurry On Home is a jam and a half.
posted by grumpybear69 at 2:05 PM on August 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

I love it.
I am your friend.
I'm just the dog
I'm just the body tonight

posted by zenon at 2:13 PM on August 16, 2019

What I love about Sleater-Kinney is how diverse their sound is, especially when put together with earlier projects (Heaven to Betsy, Excuse 17) and side projects (Filthy Friends)! Its a musical universe of rock awesomeness. This album is great and looking forward to more of this awesome trio!
posted by sidek at 2:17 PM on August 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Not a bad St.Vincent album. Not a great S-K album. It really sounds like an identity crisis album and that's not necessarily a bad thing but it will take time to understand and appreciate it in context.
posted by Kinski's Ghost at 2:24 PM on August 16, 2019

This is such a weird album. In a good way, I think.

Some moments feel like somebody stuck a St. Vincent album full of S-K; at others, it feels like someone infects S-K with St. Vincent-itis. And that goes right down to the visuals.

On the St. Vincent side, I think it livens up the whole thing. Masseduction was beautifully put together, bracing, and very up-close-and-personal, but there's something about it that's calculated and unfun to listen to, and all the self-awareness doesn't help that at all. Sleater-Kinney's vocal work and loose guitars are a breath of fresh air to hear in the mix.

On the Sleater-Kinney side? Gonna take some time. Not something I expected.
posted by billjings at 2:33 PM on August 16, 2019

Song Exploder episode for The Future is Here

I highly recommend listening to this, because there's a lot of insight into what happened if you actually get beyond the Janet-got-done-wrong take:

-- Janet suggested St Vincent to produce
-- Carrie and Corin wrote on GarageBand first instead of writing together in studio
-- Janet still drummed live, but Annie Clark was doing a lot of the drum machine beats as filler (and they seem to have stuck around)

It's different. I'm not sure yet if I like it, but I don't automatically hate it. No Cities To Love was such a titanic comeback album and a left-turn at the same time. This feels like another left-turn, but titanic? Not really? I don't know.
posted by dw at 3:56 PM on August 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

unpopular opinion: S-K should have never reunited1
bona fides: introduction to S-K was CTD in 1996
posted by entropicamericana at 5:53 PM on August 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

First listen/impression was not great. It’s hard, right, because this doesn’t sound to me like an S-K album but of course they’re the ones that define what an S-K album is. It’s definitely a different direction to me versus No Cities. The sequencing and pacing just didn’t hit me.
posted by hijinx at 6:37 PM on August 16, 2019

I loved Annie Clark until her collaboration with David Byrne, who I also love. At that point and after, I have found her unlistenable. That's just me and, well, she should follow her muse. But it's not working for me.
posted by sjswitzer at 6:58 PM on August 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I see S-K fans have been confronted with their own personal Achtung Baby.
posted by hippybear at 7:00 PM on August 16, 2019 [10 favorites]

Or perhaps their own personal Pop?
posted by stannate at 8:10 PM on August 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

POP is a fine album and I will defend it until the end of my days.

I don't listen to Sleater-Kinney, like at all. The few times radio stories about them (before the interview with them I heard on Morning Edition on my way to work this morning) have had inserts of their music, they've sounded rather raw and jangly to me, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I sort of liked what I heard on NPR today and thought I might check out this album.

I'd be interested to know, from those who've heard the most recent album, what previous album they might recommend I listen to next if I use this album as my entry into S-K? I don't mind surprises but I like to hear how things progress across time...
posted by hippybear at 8:23 PM on August 16, 2019

I see S-K fans have been confronted with their own personal Achtung Baby.

but achtung baby was good tho
posted by entropicamericana at 8:36 PM on August 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

I saw the world premiere on MTV of the video of The Fly... and.... it was really difficult.

My opinions have changed (documented on this website), but Jeebus, that first viewing/listen.... was... I felt unmoored.
posted by hippybear at 8:42 PM on August 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Older unpopular opinion (for years): “The Hot Rock” is just about my favorite S-K record. “Start Together” still gives me chills.

Newer unpopular opinion: St Vincent songs always sound a little like a trendy boutique i can’t afford.

Newest unpopular opinion: Most of the new Sleater-Kinney record is disappointing.
posted by thivaia at 9:15 PM on August 16, 2019 [5 favorites]

(I liked “Achtung Baby” just fine, but it’s worth noting that I’ve always found “The Joshua Tree” the musical equivalent of the rich, popular, but weirdly super Christian kid that always ruined the mood at high school parties by talking endlessly about how much he learned about himself at youth group mission trips)
posted by thivaia at 9:22 PM on August 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

I'm not really familiar with Sleater-Kinney, so I appreciate the post, but I'm a big St Vincent fan and quite like this album.
Particularly Hurry On Home, Reach Out, Can I Go On?, LOVE and Bad Dance, but I don't mind the other tracks. I predict Can I Go On? is the track I'm most likely to still have in rotation in a year.

This feels like another left-turn, but titanic?
I like to say that's the only way worth turning.
posted by Acid Communist at 4:45 AM on August 17, 2019

I saw the world premiere on MTV of the video of The Fly... and.... it was really difficult.

They'd changed quite a bit just before that - their contribution to the "Red Hot + Blue" album came out earlier, and they were already pretty much in Achtung mode by then.

With S-K, I really cut back on how much attention I paid to new music around the time of the recession, and I hadn't realized they'd released anything since The Woods. I saw this article on the Ringer, was surprised they'd gotten back together, then realized they'd already put stuff out prior to now. :(
posted by LionIndex at 5:01 AM on August 17, 2019

one month after drummer Janet Weiss left the band,

I did not know this.

Dammit, Janet.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:14 AM on August 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

I appreciate that this is the album S-K wanted to make, it's just not the S-K album I wanted to listen to. Janet's departure really highlights the relative lack of energy on the album - where once there were crashing drum entries, there are beep boops. Beep boops!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:02 AM on August 17, 2019

I'd be interested to know, from those who've heard the most recent album, what previous album they might recommend I listen to next if I use this album as my entry into S-K? I don't mind surprises but I like to hear how things progress across time...

I was trying to think of an answer to this question, and I can think of specific songs that are less raw and jangly, but not entire albums. I don't agree with the stereogum review that The Center Won't Hold sounds like a pop album (certainly not a modern pop album), but it has a more slick production than I usually associate with Sleater-Kinney.

Maybe The Woods? It's the closest S-K ever got to a polished hard rock album (Jumpers, What's Mine is Yours). Or No Cities To Love, which does sound a lot more modern than the stuff that came out a decade before (Surface Envy, No Anthems, Hey Darling).

I love No Cities to Love, but even if I didn't their accompanying tour with FUCKING LIZZO as the opener was so rad that it justifies Sleater-Kinney reuniting on its own.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:11 AM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Older unpopular opinion (for years): “The Hot Rock” is just about my favorite S-K record. “Start Together” still gives me chills.

I didn't know this was an unpopular opinion. Dig Me Out got me into Sleater-Kinney but The Hot Rock cemented it for me. The bookends to that album are still two of my favourite songs of theirs.

I'd be interested to know, from those who've heard the most recent album, what previous album they might recommend I listen to next if I use this album as my entry into S-K? I don't mind surprises but I like to hear how things progress across time...

I think you have two options there. If you want to see the evolution and want to hear the next thing that's closest to The Center Won't Hold, go for No Cities and work your way backwards. I'd also encourage you to listen to St. Vincent if you haven't already; I didn't spend a lot of time with Masseduction (that's the album where I basically stopped listening to St. Vincent) but you can hear elements of The Center Won't Hold in both that album and her self-titled, and maybe even Strange Mercy if you strain. St. Vincent's evolution is also pretty interesting to follow, if you enjoy that sort of thing.

If you want a shock to the system and would rather follow things in chronological order, I'd start with any of their first three albums. Their self-titled is very embryonic, more Heavens to Betsy than what people have come to know as Sleater-Kinney, but it has its share of good songs. Call the Doctor is the album that I think put them on the map, and Dig Me Out is the one that made them super popular. Dig Me Out is also where Janet Weiss joins the band, so if you're more concerned with hearing how Tucker/Brownstein/Weiss evolve over the years you can just start there. Just be prepared for these albums to sound almost nothing like The Center Won't Hold. Like, at times I find it difficult to even identify Tucker and Brownstein's singing, and all the signature touches of those early albums don't really exist anymore.

Honestly, I think all their stuff is good to great (jury's out on The Center but there are definitely at least catchy songs on it), so if any of this piques your interest I think it's worth listening to all of it eventually. S-K albums have never been particularly long, especially their early albums (the self-titled debut is 22 minutes!), so you could probably knock out their whole discography in an afternoon or two.
posted by chrominance at 7:19 AM on August 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

Also, yeah, listening to that Song Explorer makes it pretty clear that the "St. Vincent ruined Sleater-Kinney" narrative is dumb. Obviously she's going to bring her personal touch to the enterprise, you don't ask someone like Annie Clark to produce and expect her to remain firmly in the background. But it's clear that the decisions being made here are Sleater-Kinney's decisions, their attempts to explore new ideas and keep things fresh.

Hearing about how The Future Is Here was composed, I wonder if Janet Weiss leaving is really more about not breaking new songs together in a shared space anymore; I don't know much about how Quasi or The Jicks operate(d) but especially with the Jicks and Stephen Malkmus, I get the impression it was a more collaborative and live space, and maybe at this point in her career it makes more sense to chase the part of the experience you really love. Maybe trading Garageband demos across the internet wasn't something she wanted to do long-term. I don't know.

I think that wherever I ultimately land on the album, that this is an exciting time for Tucker and Brownstein, and that if absolutely nothing else, it shows that the Sleater-Kinney reunion isn't just a nostalgia-fueled one-off. The Center Won't Hold feels like an album from a band that considers itself a going concern. I might not appreciate their future directions but they've still got plenty to say.
posted by chrominance at 7:45 AM on August 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've heard a few songs from it,'s okay? (I wish it were their Achtung Baby; that's the only U2 album I can stand to listen to all the way through...) I was introduced to S-K via their earlier albums, esp. Dig Me Out, and I am Team Corin all the way on vocals. Carrie's fine, but, for me, the songs I like best are the ones where they rock out with CT's vibrato on "stun." I saw them tour The Hot Rock, and her vocals live were excellent.

So, I'll listen to this straight through at least once because S-K, but the new sound/songs + Janet leaving are not filling me with anticipatory joy.
posted by the sobsister at 10:28 AM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

It's different, but I like it. I can't blame Janet for wanting to move on; I was honestly surprised to learn they were making another album after No Cities to Love as that album and tour kinda felt like a creative extinction burst and hearing it now, I see that they weren't really making "another S-K album" per se, they were trying something different.

I don't consider any band that's been a going concern for more than a few years to be set in stone. Creative people need to shake things up. I like that they're not letting the grass grow under their feet, and I'm glad Janet isn't sticking around and going through the motions if her heart isn't in it. I'll look forward to hearing her in whatever she does next & fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.
posted by potrzebie at 12:29 PM on August 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

S-K has been my favorite band for... more than 20 years now. This album is a huge bummer for me, because it's the one thing I never thought they'd be- boring. It feels like a collection of demos or beginnings of songs, but the songs just don't achieve liftoff. The Dog/The Body is the only track that feels complete, and I also think Broken is quite good, but the rest leave me cold. Of course, the band (such as it remains) can explore whatever sounds they're interested in, but I feel let down. It doesn't help that I really don't care for Annie Clark's music independently of this. We have tickets to see them in the fall because I haven't missed an S-K tour since 1997, but I'll miss Janet so much, it's just not the same band without her.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 1:32 PM on August 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

I always had trouble getting into Sleater-Kinney, she whispered. I listened to All Hands On The Bad One over and over until I had Stockholm Syndromed myself into liking it; I like a song off One Beat and a few off The Woods. I heard some snippets of this new album on Sound Opinions, where the hosts HATED it, and I of course really dug some of it? Like the poppy disco one? Unsurprisingly? Idk, I am just not cool enough to Get It when it comes to S-K or a lot of critically-beloved darlings: Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Kanye, Sonic Youth, most of Arcade Fire, Sonic Youth, New Pornographers, Sonic Youth... (How many bands have I forced myself to like because I thought it would make me cool? There's no way I would have loved any Bikini Kill beyond "Rebel Girl" if I hadn't told myself, "YOU WILL LIKE THIS, GODDAMMIT" until a handful of it sparked. I have a major crush on Kathleen Hannah, though.) /cool story sis

(I hope we learn whatever drama caused Janet Weiss to leave, because in addition to having bad taste in music that I secretly think is good taste, I'm also a messy bitch that loves drama.)
posted by pelvicsorcery at 2:03 PM on August 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm not liking the new album, unfortunately. Janet Weiss, one of the best drummers ever, being replaced in a rock band by drum machines and slow tempos is kinda shit. The new album has nothing on No Cities To Love, let alone The Woods or One Beat. Here's hoping Janet rejoins Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, although her replacement Jake has been super kickass too. Sending love to Portland musicians. <3
posted by neon909 at 5:33 PM on August 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Sorry for introducing the phrase "doing Janet dirty" at the top of the thread. I did not mean to imply any unspoken interpersonal drama among the players.

But OTOH I am way over-opinionated about wasting the best drummer currently in rock'n'roll, so I'll look to the long game and hope this is all the setup for a triumphant re-reunion.

Meanwhile, I hope Weiss heals up real good and gets to rock the fuck out again.
posted by whuppy at 8:32 AM on August 19, 2019

Gave it a thorough listen while riding my bike around some lakes in Minneapolis, and I liked it a bunch; it sounds like an interesting evolution for them. But I'm an extreme St. Vincent partisan and a big fan of Brownstein's guitar technique, so it might just be that I'm the musical demographic it's aimed at.
posted by COBRA! at 8:58 AM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

I’ve spent more time with it, and the Achtung Baby comparisons are somewhat apt, but it’s a very abrupt shift where Achtung really wasn’t. You could see it coming via Rattle and Hum. No Cities To Love didn’t hint at it.

I do not hate it, but it’s clear the “we already wrote the drum track Janet, just do the live version” attitude is a fatal flaw. Janet was the person who could break the Carrie-Corin tie while shoving the sound in a more militant direction. Her taking hints from a drum machine feels like post Bill Berry REM — it loses something important in the creative process.

Last show I saw with Janet was when she was on the Courtney Barnett/Kurt Vile tour, and when she’s reinterpreting Stella Mozgawa, she’s free and is Janet Fucking Weiss. But Stella is a crazy drummer who loves insane time signatures while using a spare kit. A drum machine OTOH lacks that insanity. It’s a bunch of programmed rhythms. So watching her deal with our two greatest slacker songwriters was clearly a joy for her (in the way a sad drummer can only express it). If I had to try to make something just like a drum machine rhythm without any real consulting about the songwriting I’d run back to Quasi, too.
posted by dw at 11:47 AM on August 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Sleater-Kinney presents: Bob Mould's Modulate.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 3:49 PM on August 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

After listening to it for a week, I think I'm at the point where I can say I like a lot of the songs (Broken and Bad Dance are not growing on me), but I can't get into the progression of the album.

But when I switched back to listening to No Cities to Love/ All Hands on the Bad One / The Woods, there was a marked different in my own emotional response to it. And, like, All Hands on the Bad One was my first S-K record when I was maybe 15, obviously I'm going to have a strong emotional reaction to it that won't be replicated, but I don't think I'm ever going to love it the same way.

It's not a bad album, but it's not ever going to be my favorite S-K album. Some of the songs (The Future is Here, The Center Won't Hold, LOVE) will probably make it onto some playlists. It's more varied and more uneven, but that doesn't mean that there's nothing worthwhile on it.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:30 AM on August 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Janet Weiss has a gofundme.
posted by dinty_moore at 1:10 PM on August 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Given it a couple of weeks now... I really, really like it. The interesting thing is that if I shuffle all the Sleater-Kinney albums, these songs slide right in pretty cleanly. I was doing that today and when “The Dog/The Body” came on I had to think for a bit to remember which album it was from.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:11 PM on August 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I think One Beat was a bigger departure.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:13 PM on August 30, 2019

janet weiss is the best rock drummer in the world and i will stand on dave grohl's coffee table in my vintage doc martens and say that
posted by entropicamericana at 8:49 AM on August 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

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