The Vaselines, "Sex With an X"

81 Billboard Rating

Glasgow, Scotland, indie-pop duo the Vaselines have finally released the follow-up to their much-revered debut, "Dum Dum"-21 years after its original release. Not that the decades-long layoff has dulled Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly's understanding of simple, direct hooks, which make up the gooey interior of "Sex With an X." Working with "Dum Dum" producer Jamie Watson, the Vaselines crank up the guitar power on "Mouth to Mouth" and recall fellow Scots Belle & Sebastian on the whimsical "Turning It On." The voices of McKee and Kelly have obviously matured, but the band's use of playful lyrics is just as effective here as in its early days. The track "Overweight but Over You," for example, hurls culinary lines like "You twist me 'round like some old spaghetti" and "On a diet I've called rejection/I got sick with no affection" at the listener with a winning touch of screwball charm. Even those too young-or not yet born-for the Vaselines' heyday can appreciate the earnest fun of "Sex With an X."

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