Xiu Xiu: Dear God I Hate Myself
As may be evident from the video, *Dear God, I Hate Myself* frequently deals with body image, which it does in typically unsparing detail. As is clearly evident from the album title, it does it with heaps of self-loathing. “Chocolate Makes You Happy” continues the bulimia theme, and curses life and death while synths buzz and brittle drum machines click. On the following track, “Apple for a Brain,” Stewart whimpers about how someone is “so hideous for a boy.”
Lyrically and musically, *Dear God, I Hate Myself* is not drastically different than previous Xiu Xiu albums. The band’s signature discordant synths and unorthodox song structures are here, as is Stewart’s unmistakable, histrionic voice. His singing is over-the-top, but necessarily so. Its confrontational nature turns what could be a depressing wallow in misery into a cathartic acceptance of misery. “I will never be happy, and I will never feel normal,” sings Stewart on the title track, which is dispiriting, but honest. The misery lifts for what may be the first time ever in a Xiu Xiu song on the New Order-inflected “This Too Shall Pass Away,” where Morrissey references help reassure that pain will eventually subside.
Xiu Xiu may sound really unappealing, and they are certainly not for listeners looking for good times and good vibes, but they serve the worthwhile purpose of de-romanticizing pain. All the scars are visible.