Pixx – Small Mercies (sealed U.K import)

SKU: 600-2-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 Categories: , ,


At one point on Small Mercies, Pixx sings “This is the right place at the wrong time,” and it’s the perfect summation of the nervy pop she introduced on The Age of Anxiety and builds on with her second album. Darker and with a bigger scope than her debut, on Small Mercies Pixx directs her nervous energy outward, taking aim at the oppressive institutions and traditions that have contributed to a world so toxic that the only sane response is to feel a little crazy. She attacks the problem from all sides with her songwriting, adopting different personas and viewpoints. On “Eruption 24,” she’s a power-tripping higher power; on “Funsize,” she’s a household object observing the family around her, awaiting disposal with a powerlessness that feels all too familiar — and genuinely disturbing. At times, Small Mercies feels more like a collection of dystopian short stories set to music than mere songs. Pixx presents a series of escalating and increasingly futile negotiations between humanity, God, and planet Earth with grimly witty results on “Peanuts Grow Underground”; depicts sexual politics with surreal imagery (“I sit down on your lap/And sink into your world”) on the title track; and turns an everyday phrase into an unsettling mantra on “Duck Out.” Frequently, Small Mercies’ music is just as complex and accomplished as its lyrics. Pixx returns to the taut, slippery synth pop of The Age of Anxiety on songs such as “Andean Condor,” but sets the album’s most cathartic moments to grungy rock, as on the Throwing Muses-esque “Bitch” and the fiery “Mary Magdalene.” Though Small Mercies occasionally lacks the giddily relatable angst of its predecessor, some of the album’s brightest highlights happen when Pixx drops her detachment. She brings a vivid intimacy to “Disgrace,” which was inspired by her traumatizing years in Catholic school, when she sings “We didn’t know what to say/We didn’t have anything to confess that day/Anything to get out of this place.” “Hysterical” is another standout, illustrating sexism and female oppression with precise yet agitated post-punk that calls to mind Chairs Missing-era Wire. Small Mercies may not be quite as immediate as The Age of Anxiety, but it’s fizzing with energy and ideas that prove that Pixx the right person to sing about what’s wrong with the world. Mint.




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