CSS's 2006 debut album must have fueled a whole universe of drunken debauchery and casual sex. Cansei de Ser Sexy, Portuguese for "tired of being sexy," was a late-night Molotov cocktail of pounding dance beats and driving rock riffs. The lyrics--such as, "Kiss me, I'm drunk/ Don't worry, it's true," from "Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above"--were the perfect mix of seductive and witty. And though it failed to rocket the Brazilian quintet to Feist-level fame, "Music Is My Hot Hot Sex" is still the best song ever to be featured in an iPod commercial.
Though Donkey doesn't stray far from its predecessor, it does sound calculated to reach a wider audience. Trendily synthy `80s-style tracks such as "Move" and "Let's Reggae All Night" are clean and heavily produced. These songs are sure to be popular in the club, but their familiar-sounding hooks and bland lyrics don't pack the punch that distinguished Cansei de Ser Sexy from fluffier dance offerings. At Donkey's most captivating moments, "Jager Yoga" and "I Fly," the old, weird CSS rears its head, and frontwoman Lovefoxxx comes through with the wild, nervy vamping that fuels the band's thrilling live performances.
Donkey is still a lot of fun despite its shortcomings. But at a moment when disco, funk, and new wave revival bands are everywhere, it would have been nice to hear CSS attack the dance club with the sleazy rock 'n' roll toughness that once set it apart.