When the Raveonettes’ Facebook account announced the release of their new album In and Out of Control last month, one disillusioned fan commented, “I don’t know how you went from Lust Lust Lust to this album.” I know what he meant, but I don’t think it’s that hard to understand what happened. The Raveonettes like to organize their albums around concepts, and the concept behind the new album didn’t appeal to this particular fan.
The Danish duo of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo recorded their first couple of albums with lots of guitar feedback and all the songs in one key (B-flat minor on the first, B-flat major on the second). For the third album, Pretty in Black, Wagner and Foo shelved the feedback and indulged their love of ’50s and ’60s pop. The feedback returned with a vengeance on Lust Lust Lust, but this time songwriter Wagner combined it with lyrics that were personal meditations about good drugs and bad love. It is the best album of their career so far.
In and Out of Control is partly a return to Pretty in Black territory, but this time songwriter Wagner tries to wed the sunny pop sounds to the after-midnight concerns of Lust Lust Lust. In practice, this means Wagner and Foo do a lot of sweet harmonizing about suicide and overdoses. It’s not a bad idea, but the personal angle is missing and many of the songs feel underdeveloped. One song, “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)”…well, it should have been destroyed. Still, the Raveonettes prove they’ve still got it when they forget about the concept for a minute and just rock out.
RAVEONETTES: Belly Up, Thursday, November 12, 9 p.m. 858-481-8140. $18; $20 day of show.