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Center Didn't Hold ...

One of the biggest 90s rock act released their 9th and final album last month.

By Alexis Renaudat | Video of the Day | September 4, 2019

The Center Won’t Hold, a prophetic title? Barely a month before this 9th record was released, drummer Janet Weiss – one third of the Sleater-Kinney trio since 1995 – announced she was leaving the band in cloudy circumstances. It remains to be seen whether « The Center » is a political statement -about America, feminism and the internet era – or if that center was actually a reference to the rhythmic foundation which just packed its bags. The previous record, No Cities to Love (2015), was defined by decidedly complex guitar & bass interactions, and a very punk-rock result. Since then, those have been substituted by a slew of electronic éléments : « For this album, Carrie and I were writing in GarageBand or Logic and trading files back and forth. We wrote plenty of things on guitar but we also started to write with synthesizers, just the most basic things they have in GarageBand. » This new writing process allowed the likes of the synth-pop -techno-apocalyptic track The Future Is Here to come to light, as a conversation about solitude in the information era. The questioning ends with Broken, a piano balad about Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the U.S.A. The Center Won’t Hold is a fairly political album, as is customary with the Portland trio. But a full listen might yield its share of bitterness – 25 years of friendship ended over the making of this album … © Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz

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