The Handsome Furs came out with a new album in March, titled “Face Control,” which was warmly received by many critics, including Pitchfork, Toronto’s NOW Magazine, Spin and Prefix.
Pitchfork considers Face Control to be a huge improvement in every way from the duo’s debut, Plague Park. While the previous album Pitchfork dismissed as “too-spare,” Face Control added “stuttering nuance” which “they drape over some of the finest songs Boeckner’s ever written.” The album also gives Pitchfork the chills and a “sense of dread” through the use of the cold drum machine.
NOW Magazine blames the genius of Face Control on the dup’s status as a married, love-happy couple. “There’s no denying the chemistry between these two; it throbs all over their impressive new disc.”
Other critics, Prefix and SPIN, commented on how their first album was cold and colder, while Face Control added a bit of color and life. According to Prefix: “Face Control is a refinement of every facet of Handsome Furs’ minimal sound, principally that the music here has a soul, while Plague Park sounded clinical and procedural. There’s an emotional heft here that wasn’t present before.”
SPIN put it in more poetic terms: “The difference is like listening to a heartbeat instead of an EKG: Face Control’s programmed electronics, in fact, ring deeply human, and Boeckner’s tortured vocals express shared experience rather than alienation.”