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Cigarettes After Sex | Cry | Album Review

Partisan Records
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Two years after the release of their self-titled debut album, Cigarettes After Sex are back with more reverb-soaked melancholy tunes on their newest record and sophomore release Cry. Released on Oct. 25, Cry takes listeners on a journey through the various stories behind the songs with lyrics and instrumentals that scream heartbreak, intimacy, and despair.

Veering very little from the sound of their debut record, the LP features songs that all manage to sound somewhat different while keeping that signature Cigarettes sound. Their habitually somber sounds even riddle their way into the upbeat tracks of the album in songs like lead single “Heavenly” that speaks upon having a moment of clarity. While the track still has an upbeat and peaceful sound, there’s still an aura of gloom surrounding the song, maybe due to lead vocalist Greg Gonzalez’s wistful and almost whiny sounding vocals. 

The entire album is a contrast between pensive and romantic lyrics. “Touch” details a love gone sour or being led on with lyrics:  “It’s leading me on, every time we touch / Leading me on, every time it hurts / Feeling so lonely, ‘cause it’s not enough.” Or songs like “Cry” depict pining after a love that can’t be reached. Meanwhile, songs like “Hentai” and “Falling in Love” detail the amorous and dreamy sides to a relationship, more specifically Gonzalez’s current relationship. 

The contrast, however, doesn’t bring enough variety to the record and the monotony of reverb-sodden guitar and vocals and the semblance of ennui surrounding even the tracks written in a major key grow old by the midway point of the record (“Touch”). The record is a great listen, especially in the case of ambience—most of the record was recorded in a cathedral in Germany, adding to the superfluous use of reverberation on every track—but falls flat in the case of divergence from anything outside of feeling sad. 

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