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The Naked & Famous CL Recommends

When: Tue., Feb. 25 2014
Price: $30.50

Pablo Picasso’s dictum, “You do it first, then someone else comes along and does it pretty,” can be applied to the retro-’80s indie party and its current buzzy, banging proponent, the Naked & Famous. In 2011, the New Zealand quintet hit anthemic dance-pop pay dirt with “Young Blood.” Critics claimed that the hit song’s sugary vocals and Paramore-sized power chords ripped off MGMT’s “Kids,” yet both groups mined a vein of young adult angst that stretches back to Simple Minds’ “Alive and Kicking” and Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” True to Picasso’s epigram, The N&F are prettier than either Minds or Tears, deftly weaving dueling male-and-female vocals into Brat Pack-era melodies, like the xx’s sunnier cousins. The Kiwi combo’s current LP ditches the fizzy bangers for more guitar and a cloudier, dark-electro aura, complete with Gary Numan-noodling synths. It’s the “more mature” second LP syndrome, akin to ’80s faves Echo and the Bunnymen phasing from the short, sharp shock of Crocodiles to the misty brooding of Heaven Up Here, but at least the N&F are staying true to their borrowed-and-blue muse. (Pat Moran)


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