Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Heartsrevolution

  • Ride or Die [Owsla, 2014] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Ride or Die [Owsla, 2014]
The band is riot grrrl Lo Safai and her muso boyfriend Ben Pollock, who make or made their living renting out her crystal-covered ice cream truck to rich kids' birthday parties. The album is the debut they began promising in 2008, which materialized two years ago to the tune of a few distracted reviews as well as full lyrics on Genius. I downloaded a press copy I forgot until I tripped over it in iTunes, whereupon it went into heavy rotation: beaty synth-guitar-drums, hummable tunes, Safai's girlish-not-grrrlish soprano delivering lyrics about following your heart down the byways of love to the end of the world. Breathy with a sweetness even when she's putting the plosives on "ping pong pussy," Safai sells the record like it's an organic lollipop. "They give us hope then they take it away" is about love and the world at the same time. "KISS" predicts "Sooner or later I'm gonna get you/Sooner or later I'm gonna let you down" so it can "hope we get forever." The birthday-ready "Final Warning" counsels: "Hey little kids you better take a warning/There's this little thing called global warming." Thirtysomethings may find the whole schmear too icky, 2008, or both. I'm charmed straight up. A-