Exclusive Daily Download: "Lions," Asobi Seksu

Published June 23, 2006 7:01AM (EDT)

Asobi Seksu's self-titled 2004 debut was such an undistinguished, middling and sometimes flat-out bad collection of droning New York rock overlaid with failed Japanese-English cuteness and spunk by vocalist Yuki that I had decided that any attention afforded to the band was purely due to the brilliant graphics designer Sean McCabe made for their posters and album art. What a pleasant surprise, then, to pop in their upcoming "Citrus" (graphics as sharp as ever) and find that the band has improved really dramatically: Yuki's singing is much stronger, but more important, the music has swelled around her to bolster any lingering weaknesses, and the whole record has a wonderfully full, explosively vibrant sound. And while it's a sound that doesn't change much from song to song, I haven't gotten sick of it yet. Check out "Thursday" also.

-- T.B.

By Salon Staff

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