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CD of The Week

Week of 10/04/21

    Illuminati Hotties - Let Me Do One More (Hopeless / Snack Shack)

    Last summer, Illuminati HottiesSarah Tudzin shook up her sound with the Free I.H.: This Is Not The One You’re Waiting For mixtape, expanding from an indie-pop guitar band to a project that could encompass whatever she wanted. The one that we were waiting for is here at last, as the second “real” Illuminati Hotties album. Let Me Do One More combines the humor of Free I.H. with Tudzin’s growing confidence and viewpoint as a songwriter.

    Let Me Do One More blasts off with “Pool Hopping,” a total summertime jam as relationship uncertainty takes a backseat to “stealth makeout, breakfast takeout” and of course, plenty of swimming. The first song we heard from the new album was “MMMOOOAAAAAYAYA,” which weaves skewed guitars around a singalong near-wordless chorus, with Tudzin slipping into distorted, oddball voices. This may be the best example of Illuminati Hotties’ sense of humor that pops through, as in a call-and-response bridge, Tudzin manages to call out the Democratic National Committee for “playing dirty” and is “so sad I can’t do laundry.”

    The mellowed-out “Threatening Each Other re: Capitalism” is a reflection on the circle of consumerism while “u v v p” welds country music to the iconic “Be My Baby” beat with guest vocals from Buck Meek of Big Thief. “Joni: LA’s No. 1 Health Goth” is a sneering, sarcastic riot grrl rocker about the coolest girl in town that everyone wants to be and/or be with. Much of the album sticks to fairly straightforward indie guitar-pop, such as the ‘90s alt-rock chords of “Knead” and catchy “Cheap Shoes.”

    However, the gentle, hushed closer “Growth” ends the record on a bummer, with the resignation that “I guess being an adult is just being alone / I’ll go back to the couch, let you stare at your phone / We’ll pretend this is normal / We’ll pretend this is growth.”

    Let Me Do One More doesn’t have the head-spinning eclecticism of Free I.H. but it certainly proves that Tudzin definitely deserves to do more than one more. Illuminati Hotties are slated to play Philadelphia’s First Unitarian Church on February 26, 2022.
    Review by Joey O.

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