Le Tigre: Kathleen Hanna (vocals); Sadie Benning, Johanna Fateman.
Additional personnel: Chris Stamey (trumpet, tom-toms); Lake Lloyd, Tammy Rae
Carland, Jen Smith.
Principally recorded at Modern Recording, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
The debut effort from Le Tigre sounds like the best new wave album not to come from the 1980s. Here, frontwoman Kathleen Hanna expands on the lo-fi sounds she tinkered with on her debut solo album, Julie Ruin. Le Tigre melds punk, new wave, and hip-hop into a seemingly cute package. Each song is hummable, and Hanna's "valley girl intelligentsia" voice is perfectly deceptive. In "Deceptacon," a song loaded with the kind of simple contradictions that made Kurt Cobain's lyrics so effective, Hanna sings, "Let me hear you depoliticize my rhyme." "What's Yr Take on Cassavetes" is the best song about an auteur since King Missile's "Martin Scorsese." "My My Metrocard" and "Les and Ray," two of the best songs on the album, display a welcome sort of contradiction: both songs seem to be about escape and exploration ("Think I'll go a little/but then I go far"), but the catchy hooks of these tunes are inescapable. With Bikini Kill, Hanna's politics were as subtle as the Empire State Building. But with Le Tigre, as with the great Tom Tom Club song "Genius of Love," the listener is left not only humming and dancing, but exploring the wealth of reference material hidden within its confines. ~ Brian Flota
Rolling Stone (3/30/00, p.64) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...mines the frivolity and ferocity of rock&roll tradition....Le Tigre muscle up their righteous rebel-girl aggression with the rhythmic power of rock&roll verities."
Spin (1/01, p.73) - Ranked #10 in Spin's "Top 20 Albums of the Year ".
Spin (3/00, p.147) - 9 out of 10 - "...Le Tigre is one funny band, and their album sparkles with a joie de vivre more bubbly than pink champagne....takes the listener on an urban adventure, using humor and poetic description..."
Entertainment Weekly (11/19/99, p.150) - "...revives the sassy attitude of '60s girl groups but also brilliantly updates their infectious, sashaying groove....you can definately dance to it." - Rating: A-
Uncut (3/00, p.88) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Hanna's voice can still rasp and bark....Crude, effective sampling and nimble girl-group tunes give LE TIGRE a constant kick..."
Alternative Press (2/00, p.92) - 4 out of 5 - "...incorporates samples and canned drum beats...into its new wave and punk rock. But in everything from the raw, angry guitars...to the raunchy R&B romp...it's [Kathleen] Hanna's voice that stands out, inspiring in its power and force..."
Mojo (Publisher) (7/02, p.127) - "...Ups the ante for the booty and the brain with a set of lo-fi-dance-punk....a genuine hip shaker."
NME (Magazine) (1/15/00, p.29) - "...Experimental and polemic as well as grooving, Le Tigre are smart enough to let their wit sharpen their arguments, and the result is fine indeed."