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Sleater Kinney’s “No Cities To Love” Video reviewed

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The video for “No Cities To Love” does something no video does for me, it allowed me to hear the song for the first time. I’d streamed the entire album a number of times and quite liked it without joining the choir exactly, the sound was good, the songs not as strong as they needed to be. I’m not a come lately to these guys, I saw em way before they hit numerous times and only bailed out when they broke and I lost interest. ever since than I’ve liked em but didn’t miss em when they went on hiatus, they were good not great. That was how I felt about the new album, and that included the title track, the third in the batting order. It sounded a little sub Talking Heads circa More Songs without the r&b. Not bad, not great.

But I watched the video, a whole lotta guest stars trading off the lines to the song before the actual Sleater Kinney themselves join in. It is fun and it works because you can actually hear the hook… the “cities…weather”… The video features (long breath) Ellen Page, Fred Armisen, Connie Britton,  Andy Samberg, Rachel Wood, Gerard Way, Brie Larson, Natasha Lyonne, Sarah Silverman, J Mascis, Vanessa Bayer, Miranda July and Norman Reedus.

Redux:  hearing all these voices sing the hook hooked me, it taught me to hear it and as videos go it was a real blast. The song, about what we love in environments is not the environments offers a joke before a as a rebuke to David Byrne’s “Cities” (“it’s the loving we love” the band concludes and I can sure live with that with the exception of nyc). Having all Sleater-Kinney’s famous fans ring in is a little too exclusive but having said that the sentiment is inclusive and it makes sense to turn it into a karaoke jamboree.

Grade: A


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