NextAlbum | JD Samson + MEN By Anna Graizbord
Queer-identified dance floor jams for everybody.
With Next, the newly re-christened JD Samson + MEN (formerly known simply as MEN) have tunneled further into their core dance sound. Being a performance art collective by definition, the more repetitive songs that dominate the EP, "Make Him Pay" and the titular "Next," may have lost some of the potential electricity of what they'd be in a live show, but are nonetheless simple, fun, and yet lyrically loaded. It's "I Don't Care" that stands apart, however: it's simultaneously the most throwback and most somber of the three relatively dark songs. It's also maybe the most vulnerable Samson has ever sounded, which is surprising given the very personal (albeit political) subject matter typical of the group's work. Sometimes the collective spirit, though inspiring and uplifting, and coupled with vocal effects, can make Samson seem somewhat detached, but with "I Don't Care", her voice sounds less muffled, more intimate, and more tangible. When she was in Le Tigre, the image she seemed to project was that of a confident, unbreakable role model, but now in the context of her own project and especially with this EP, we're getting to understand more about her as a real person who may not always be as strong as she wants to be. As this is an EP, we've only gotten a taste of what's happening with JD Samson + MEN right now, but our attention has been piqued and we are ready for more.