Desire / No Tears

Desire / No Tears

Tuxedomoon's second album leans a bit closer to conventional song structures than its predecessor, but that's like saying February is a little closer to summer than January. Desire—packaged here with the 1978 EP No Tears—is still a wildly eccentric outing full of left turns. Singer Winston Tong (who'd been onboard for No Tears but absent from the debut LP, Half Mute) returns here. He matches his bandmates' skewed sensibilities step for step, whether invoking the Greek myth of Cassandra on the exotic-sounding "Victims of the Dance" or leading the charge on a delightfully demented deconstruction of Cole Porter's "Night and Day." But the vocal tunes are crucially contrasted by offbeat tracks like the oddly poignant minimalist tone poem "Music No. 1" and "Holiday for Plywood," a cracked-funhouse-mirror take on the '40s orchestral-pop hit "Holiday for Strings." Desire maintains the band's mix of post-punk, jazz, classical, and electronic avant-garde flavors, but it finds Tuxedomoon moving further into a paradigm all their own.

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