Cigarettes After Sex – X’s

Cigarettes After Sex - X's



3.7/5 Pros

  • Nice metaphoric lyrics
  • Nice atmosphere Cons

  • Rather monotonous

Sold-out shows in the largest venues all across the world – the dream-pop band Cigarettes After Sex grew a massive fan base since they have been founded in 2008. This is even more surprising as X’s is just the band’s third studio album. It will be released on 12th July 2024. I already had a listen.


Cigarettes After Sex – About The Artists

Cigarettes After Sex have been founded in El Paso, Texas, in 2008. The line-up has changed since then, but founder Greg Gonzalez (lead vocals, guitar) is the driving force behind the band. They are currently a trio with bassist Randall Miller and drummer Jacob Tomsky. In 2012, the band self-released the EP I., which was quite successful in the United Kingdom. The 2017 single release Apocalypse boosted the band success. It was not only a double platinum one in the United States, but also got platinum records in Greece and Portugal, for example. This also lead to a very successful release of their self-titled debut album the same year. The album got platinum status in France, for example. Their sophomore release, the 2019 album Cry even pushed the success a bit more, leading to the band’s very first chart lead, in Portugal.


Cigarettes After Sex – X’s – Track by Track

The ten track album lasts 38 minutes.

1. X’s

The title track of the album is a typical Cigarettes After Sex song. A dream-pop song with a lovely atmosphere, driven by voice of Greg Gonzales. The song is very gentle and touching.

2. Tejano Blue

Tejano Blue has been one of the single releases of the album. Especially compared to the opener, it feels more present, more pushing. However, the style of the song stays very similar. The focus is rather on the unique voice of the band lead and the story told.

So get in the waves, swim in your leather
I always will make it feel like you were the last one
Get in the waves like it was the first time
Bless your heart, make you part of my life forever

3. Silver Sable

Silver Sable style, back in a Marvel Swimsuit Special from the early ‘90s
Page 11, the second edition, with that look on her face

Good songwriters can do songs about almost everything. This absolutely applies to the Texan band. You feel chilled and relaxed when you listen to the melody of songs like Silver Sable. And you are just ready to be fascinated by lyrics.

4. Hideaway

Especially in the beginning of Hideaway, the bass and drumming play a key role in the song. Cigarettes After Sex do music with minimal effort. The more, the few things they put into a song need to be good. This song is definitely standing the challenge.

5. Holding You, Holding Me

In the context of the album, a song like Holding You, Holding Me feels bombastic, melodic. The song still has a clear dream pop attitude, but the instruments go away from the monotonous approach and present more complex line. The much I enjoyed the album so far, the much I now appreciate to have this kind of dynamic.

6. Dark Vacay

In summer I’m living on pills & lines
With someone I love, I don’t really like
Been sleeping on the tile & keeping out the light
Then sipping Château Lafite Rothschild

The second half of X’s kicks off with two single releases. I featured this one, Dark Vacay, already in my Songs of the Week as of 19th April 2024. The song nicely connects to Holding You, Holding Me before. I still appreciate the song, even though it does feel stronger as a single release than as a part of this album.

7. Baby Blue Movie

This part of the album has the more present and energetic songs. Baby Blue Movie is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album.

8. Hot

One of the key features of the album is that the lyrics are very metaphoric and beautiful – but they are also as limited as the melodic setup. The lyric sheet I received for Hot for example, just contains twelve lines. Together with the slow dream pop style and the somehow sluggish vocals, this does not feel bad, though.

9. Dreams From Bunker Hill

Songs like Dreams From Bunker Hill nicely illustrate the weakness of X’s as an album. If the song is slightly weaker – or if the story just does not touch you as much – it just does not add that much to the album. This may be very personal, but it is exactly happening to me with this song. Even though the melody of the chorus is a nice one.

10. Ambien Slide

Take my love with zolpidem
You said you couldn’t help it
Had everything that you wanted when my love was only yours,
But now you’re feeling helpless giving in to your Ambien slide

The chucker-out of Cigarettes After Sex’s long play is giving me more pleasing thoughts again. In fact, the energetic song with a nice crescendo leaves me with a smile.


Cigarettes After Sex – X’s – Spotify

Here is the album on Spotify:


Cigarettes After Sex – X’s – My View

X’s is nice, but it is not smashing. To reach higher ratings, there should be more variety. The album is in fact a rather monotonous experience and majorly works due to its atmosphere, the stories and the warm and gentle listen to the band leader’s voice. Nonetheless, fans of the band will love the upcoming shows, I guess.

Favorite Song: Ambien Slide


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