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Ever had a crush? Ever had a crush on Miss Orzolek? Have you felt this feeling was not directly responded to by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' front-woman? Crush Songs, is your long-awaited reply.

"They are the soundtrack to what was an ever continuing love crusade. I hope they keep you company on yours," Karen O explains in reference to the tracks on her debut solo record. The singer has clearly had her share of thwarted romance too. This album is both a pillow to cuddle up, clutch and cry against, or shout into until you feel better. 'Body', track 10 of 15, sees the singer completely lose her shit and scream with inarticulate passion. This in turn is actually a very pure form of expression, but seldom dared in contemporary music.

"Don't tell me they're all the same," opens first track 'Ooh'. This sense of loss, while resisting consolation, is the keystone of the album. It says I know I can't help, but I understand. The address to the listener is captured by Karen O's signature lo-fi atmospherics. Each song sounds like it was recorded in her bedroom in a flurry of angst and beamed to you through a crackling 1920s AM radio. From bedroom to bedroom, the heartache and longing are beamed directly.

Born in South Korea, a song called 'Native Korean Rock' (also the name of a side project of O's) reinforces the personal element to her process. It features a speech that an artist might make in an interlude between songs at a gig: "You know, growing up in these modern times ain't easy, if things are getting you down, there's one thing you should keep in mind, that, [it breaks into song at this point...] no one understands."

The very fact that Crush Songs is her first solo endeavour is an indicator of the romantic loneliness she was experiencing, when "at 27 I was crushing a lot" she recalls and wondered whether she would find love again. This could not be a YYY project. It's all about Karen Lee Orzolek, but not with the egocentric tone it may have been pitched with by others. It feels cathartic yet the catharsis is not reserved for her, it is shared.

The scratchy, lo-fi, raw production values are complemented by her carefully strummed guitar. 'Rapt' has a memorable hook. It involves a disparaging comment on the nature of love, to put it politely. This album is never afraid to speak its mind and voice its elastic relationship with love, pulled close only to be pinged apart.

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