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REVIEW: SLEIGH BELLS, ‘JESSICA RABBIT”

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Sleigh Bells
Jessica Rabbit

Torn Clean


Brooklyn’s dynamic duo are back. Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss have released their first new album in three years, Jessica Rabbit. If you have any concerns that this album will not meet your punch dancing, high school nostalgia, window down, car screaming expectations, feel free to throw those thoughts out the window. With the success of their first album, Treats, Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss have been pushing out quality material like Reign of terror in 2012, and their most recent album Bitter Rivals in 2013. This new album was produced by themselves and mixed by Andrew Dawson, who mixed Bitter Rivals, so there’s an little immediate familiarity with the style.

As bands often do, Sleigh Bells is growing. And I don’t mean their members are rising, and I’m not currently talking about their popularity, but instead their musical ability. They have always been a band that takes musical risks by trying new things, and with this album they show this even further. “I Know Not To Count On You” is the tenth song on Jessica Rabbit and it’s this one that illustrates this point quite nicely. In this song they use piano and acoustic guitar, which isn’t really usual for the duo, but it adds an organic element giving their new album more texture. On this album Krauss seems to be able to showcase the full extent of her vocal ability. Also, she takes more of the creative reign and responsibilities as she’s writing more of the material. It’s good she’s starting to take control, and even express more about her background in the lyrics which also isn’t something they always do.

Miller and Krauss took their time with releasing this album. The space between Reign of Terror and Bitter Rivals had only been a year, but It’s been three years since they released Bitter Rivals. Which might be why this album surpasses Bitter Rivals. Like a fine wine, they’ve been letting Jessica Rabbit ferment.

Sleigh Bells has a talent for taking sounds and genres that are very separate and tastefully pairing them together. That’s why this album is successful. They’re not clumsy with their music, and I never have to worry about making the music work in my mind because it very naturally does. Because of their distinct sound it’s easy to pick out a Sleigh Bells song anywhere. However with Jessica Rabbit, they have been able to take the power chords, high energy, and electronic beats that have been a staple of their sound from the beginning and add some new elements that make it unique and don’t just tie back to their older sounds. One of my favorite things is to grow and change with a band; it’s almost as if they become part of you. And I’m happy to be growing with Sleigh Bells.

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