Über Arab Strap
Like Leonard Cohen, Arab Strap deserve credit for creating songs that don't merely sound unadorned; somehow, they sound nude. Their simplicity heightens both their emotional directness and eroticism so that in the end we understand this isn't just another man baring his soul -- this is a man baring all. Nearly every song is told from the point of view of a lover speaking to his beloved. The absence of any third party is so total that some may find these songs too smothering, too disgustingly self-contained. Tiny details of the outside world do filter in, but time and place for the most part remain intangible. Fittingly, the songs are usually structured around a simple loop dovetailing into a bare minimum of instrumentation. It's as if everything in this music exists to rescue from time a single moment and suspend it in the precious amber of memory and song, where it may be lived and re-lived endlessly.