Crosses – Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U, Delete [Album Review]

Review: Benjamin Coe

Crosses, the electro-pop inspired project featuring Chino Moreno of alt-rock legends Deftones and Shaun Lopez of Sacramento rock stalwarts Far, have been dropping some serious tunes of late with the arrival of the Initiation/Protection EP last year and PERMANENT.RADIANT not long after both of which were received quite well by both critics and fans alike. And now, 9 years after the release of their debut self-titled album, the duo are in full swing again with the launch of their second full length Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U, Delete.

Far removed from both members alter egos in their respective day-job bands, Crosses draw from a much more laid-back vibe and a somewhat trip-hop vibe with a touch of 80’s electro-pop thrown in for good measure albeit with a hint of darkness. Chino Moreno’s signature croon fits so beautifully with this kind of music and as a self-professed fan of such 80’s hitmakers as Duran Duran and The Cure, he really wears his influences on his sleeve here.

The album starts with the aptly titled Pleasure and the techno-influenced synth instantly transports you to a dark, hazy room as Moreno comes riding in on a wave of ambience that not many vocalists can match. The pulsing beat carries throughout the track and sets the mood for what is yet to come. For the seasoned Crosses fans, Goodnight… may not be filled with surprises but what it is filled with is a consistently atmospheric experience that will take you to another level.

Lead single Invisible Hand utilises technical glitches coupled with the catchiest of choruses to unleash an epic that will have your hips swaying to the rhythm. Moreno’s vocals cannot be overstated here, sounding just as, if not more comfortable here than on any Deftones record. It’s almost as if this is what he was born to do.

Stand out track Big Youth features a nice little guest verse from rapper El-P and welcomes Moreno back into rap territory with a slightly aggressive chorus while the second half of the album kicks off in a gentler fashion with the stunningly beautiful and bass-heavy Last Rites.

The darkness carries throughout the back half of the record and is highly prevalent in tracks such as Ghost Ride and my personal favourite, Eraser. Songs of sensuality and love are the order of the day here and in my humble opinion there is no one better suited to produce such poetic takes on infatuation than Chino Moreno.

Not done with the guest spots, another stand out Girls Float/Boys Cry features the incomparable Robert Smith of the aforementioned band The Cure, whose signature vocal style combines so seamlessly with Moreno’s to produce a simple-yet-effective chorus that will be left ringing in your ears for hours after.

Over the last decade Moreno and Lopez have certainly perfected their craft and here, once again, they have proven tat Crosses is not just a side project, but a legitimate force to be reckoned with.

††† (Crosses) – Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U, Delete. is out now via Warner Music 

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