4. Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons (2000)

Like 23, Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons was Blonde Redhead’s first real masquerade ball. The crossover album finds them tinkering with synths and minimalism (“In Particular,” “Ballad Of Lemons”), maintaining a stronghold on Picciotto’s influence (“Melody Of Certain Three”), and holding fast to their penchant for post-punk screamers (“Mother”). The album is imbued with an overarching sense of love: a collaborator they’ve coalesced with and a willingness to bend their sound in another direction, but one that has a lot of glittering elements to it. But the real heart-swelling moment comes from “This Is Not.” Makino and Amedeo’s romantic relationship is not a band secret and it gives them a palpable chemistry during their live performances, but you can hear it in her voice with this song. Lyrically straightforward, she describes the silver linings of a failed courtship in a love letter to both Pace twins: “She left everything/ traveled to the other side of the world … a series of meaningless movements/ And then by chance she met/ You and your brother/ The moment she saw you/ She knew you were made for her.” It would be the album’s most beautiful moment were it not for end-haunter “For The Damaged Coda” – ghostly piano keys trickle until there’s nothing. A spooky thing to leave an audience with before a long, upsetting hiatus.

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