Songwriter, producer, sound engineer, bandleader, Sarah Tudzin is the founder and dominant figure of the California-based band Illuminati Hotties. Listening to their third studio album, it’s clear that this extremely gifted artist should not be reduced to the pop-punk label; her tapping into sophisticated indie rock and even alt-country has little to do with the raw, scrappy rock that one imagines recurring in punk culture. The richness of its riffs and bridges, the high quality of most of its arrangements, are all elements that transcend the raw energy of the sub-genres with which it is associated. The poetic angle of the lyrics described her path at the turn of her thirties with precision, that is to say the end of the rebellious insouciance, the definitive abandonment of the candid confidence that one can feel at the dawn of adulthood, with broader and more mature considerations of existence. There’s certainly an arrested adolescence that all rock-culture enthusiasts tend to cultivate, but there is also the compositional depth of the best artists of the song form. Those who last always manage to keep their original style while proceeding to multiple transfigurations. Some see Sarah Tudzin as a perennial artist, on whom popular music can rely for a lifetime. The very high quality and musical diversity of this rock album are the striking proof of this.
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