Karen O, “Rapt”

Lindsay Hood

By Lindsay Hood

on 09.05.14 in Listen to This

Crush Songs is coming out next week and I’ve been having conflicted feelings about the album. The short collection was recorded almost eight years ago, when Karen O was 27, and at first listen it seemed too soft around the edges; too watered-down and easy for me to appreciate.

I like my dose of Karen O dancing in an energetic frenzy or standing in an empty auditorium, pouring out her heartbreak in blank-eyed anguish. I don’t want to watch her sing “Moon Song,” Oscar-nominated or no.

Suffice to say, this is not what I pictured for her first solo album. Yet, I kept returning to “Rapt” for another listen and now it’s won me over.

When she croons that last line, “I really need/ Do you need me too?/ I believe/ It’s gonna feel like new,” it’s a bit of a gut punch, isn’t it? Her epiphany forces us to recollect all the times that we’ve had to tell ourselves a lie or two; where we’ve had to make ourselves believe that a current romantic situation will not end in the same result as our past entanglements. So yes, the track’s sparse and stripped down with only the ukulele to accompany her. But Karen O still retains all of her grit.

“Love’s a fucking bitch,” indeed.

Crush Songs will be released on September 9 via Cult Records.