There's nothing quite like an artist's bitter breakup to give us something to celebrate. They wallow in agony, and we soak up the Schadenfreude.
Swedish singer/songwriter Daniel Cirera gives us a particularly unfinessed look at what he thinks about his former girlfriend, and neither of the two exes comes off looking like much on "Honestly; I Love You I *Cough*."
She was apparently a callous two-timer, and he was an oversexed, overgrown boy. (Sounds like they deserved each other.)
Since few of us will be dating Cirera, we can get a charge out of his mudslinging on the expletive-laden opening track (and European single) that includes "Fake-Vegetarian Ex-Girlfriend" in its title. It's a novelty song of sorts that features Cirera softly strumming his acoustic guitar and using his vulnerable vocals to deploy a sweet-melody hook that cuts the skank to the bone.
"Honestly; I Love You cough" doesn't let her go with that one track, either. The ol' gal gets hammered on "Dog," where Cirera longs for a canine because "girls are such a drag," and again with the generic escapism of "Roadtrippin," where backpacking somehow substitutes for love. And on "Why," heartbreak and self-stimulation go hand-in-hand, so to speak, as Cirera seems to miss the sex more than the girl.
The performer's meek voice is a curious contrast to his strong language, and he's also prone to Europop cheesiness in his lyrics, as on the awkward and blurry nostalgia trip "1992."
Yet Cirera's individualism works in interesting ways, too. He explores a subtly sensual lower range on the fantasy "She Rules the School" and ties it to electronic thrusts reminiscent of Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head." And his jazz-filtered, gentle cover of Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK" isn't half bad, though purists would hate it.
Overall, "Honestly; I Love You *Cough*" is consistently off-kilter with mixed results. If nothing else, it offers a valuable lesson: Cheat on an immature singer-songwriter, and you're going to pay.
"Honestly, I Love You *Cough*" is released by Tommy Boy.
Rating: 3 (out of possible five)