Album Reviews

Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head: Glistening Pleasure [Album Review]

Natalie Portman's Shaved Head

Glistening Pleasure follows the path of other recent hyped artists like MGMT, Cut Copy and White Williams thanks to Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head (NPSH) adding in substantial dance-ridden glam, output through flambuoyant vocals and new-wavey keyboards. Guitar riffs hone in on the minimal—they lack full strums that plague many artists—thus, they encompass the definition of “riff” and are truly plentiful in soundscape.

For a debut LP, NPSH certainly packs Glistening Pleasure with stellar tunes. “Iceage Babeland”, “Me + Yr Daughter” and “LA Noir” all enourage repeat listens—each in its own right is notable for catchy sing-along choruses, though most songs on the album have viable elements of greatness.

Could Glistening Pleasure be to NPSH what Oracular Spectacular was to MGMT? Granted, NPSH is not on a major label, but Glistening Pleasure sees NPHS gaining a prominent nationwide audience far beyond their early strong teenage following in the Pacific Northwest home of Seattle.

Select songs are childish in nature (“Beard Lust”) while others are borderline lewd (“Bedroom Costume”: I see you in your room / You’re wearing your bedroom costume / You should really close your blinds / Whose fault is it, yours or mine?). Such perversion sides easily with the sensibilities of glam—the subgenre is plastered with artists that bathe in sexual glee.

For these youngsters, it is no surprise; many are recently out of high school and in their height of sexual exploration. It’s enough to pine over: their young following is soon to grow, age a bit in its demographic averages, but likely remain just as immature and sex-riled as their early, more local, teenage audience. I can see these guys going all the way. I’ll let you decide if there’s a double meaning in there…

This review was originally published July 15, 2008 on the old version of FensePost. Above photo by Fense.

UPDATE: NPSH will be playing SXSeattle this year, for any and all from the rainy city who are planning to be in Austin for the big festival. RSVP today and you’ll get to check out some great local bands at the best music festival of the summer!

Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head: Me + Yr Daughter [mp3]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Glistening Pleasure by Natalie Portman's Shaved Head

Team Swan [CD, 2008]

1. Me + Yr Daughter
2. Slow Motion Tag Team
3. Iceage Babeland
4. Mouth Full of Bones
5. Holding Hands in the Shower
6. L.A. Noir
7. Staying Cool
8. Bedroom Costume
9. Hush Hush
10. Beard Lust
11. Sophisticated Side Ponytail
12. The Malibu Highlife
13. Confections

Leave a Reply