January 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Xiu Xiu – Nina

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Xiu Xiu

Nina

Graveface

Street: 12.02.13

Xiu Xiu = This Song Is a Mess But So Am I + Former Ghosts

This is obviously a work of love. This homage to the late, great soulstress Nina Simone is beautiful and stark. I would probably never compliment Jamie Stewart’s vocal ability, but its breathy awkwardness set to the abstract, minimalist pseudo-jazz is fitting. For me, the highlight of the album is the more upbeat and familiar “See Line Woman,” in which Stewart finally raises his voice above a whispering whimper, as the instrumentals seem to slither and screech. I think that jazz is very suiting of Stewart’s vocal style and allows for a more palatable form of abstract expression. –Cody Hudson
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