Posts tagged ‘Sally Shapiro’

August 28, 2009

Sally Shapiro and Delorean are good.

The critics don’t seem to like the new Sally Shapiro album Miracle, but I really do. They’re complaining it’s “more of the same”, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Not every artist needs to reinvent themselves with every album, especially on their 2nd. I think there’s enough tweaks on Miracle to keep things interesting, like the little vocal effects and progressive house synth washes on “My Fantasy”.
Sally Shapiro – My Fantasy

Also, I don’t know much about this Spanish electronic group Delorean, but this is hands aloft Heaven. Just wait until about the 3:00 mark.
Delorean – Seasun

The whole EP Ayrton Senna is great, and beautiful album cover.
Ayrton Senna

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August 17, 2009

Sally Shapiro – Love In July

This video is pretty precious. I can’t wait for her new album. Disco Romance is a small, quiet classic.

BTW, while listening to the video while posting this, a bird is chirping outside and it went perfectly with the song.

July 2, 2009

Lady Gaga – The Fame

Let’s start with the good. They picked the singles really well. “Just Dance” and “Poker Face” are pretty decent club bangers with choruses that get stuck in your head. I particularly like the last minute of “Just Dance” where the song shifts to a 4/4 club beat. I also like the “live drum” beat of “Poker Face” and that “mamama” vocal bit. “Paparazzi” has a nice shuffling beat and 80’s new wave synths.

Unfortunately, the rest of the album is pretty terrible. Especially the last half. “Money Honey” is where she runs the ideas from “Just Dance” and “Poker Face” into the ground. “Again Again” slows things down to sub-Christina Aguilera balladry and the shuffling, swinging melody may be one of the most unoriginal melodies in existence and should be retired. “Boys Boys Boys” sounds like a Gwen Stefani / Rock Steady throwaway. “Brown Eyes” sounds like “Again Again” but worse. The “blues” guitar in the song is just about the most unconvincing thing on the whole album, and at points she sounds a little like Avril Lavigne. And that is a lot of the problem. The whole album is a pastiche of more talented, more original artists. Lady Gaga sounds like Annie Lennox in “Poker Face”. She sounds like Gwen Stefani again in “Summerboy”, and the song sounds like a Blondie or Franz Ferdinand rip that was popular two or three years ago. Final song “I Like It Rough” remembers that the album started as a electro pop record. It’s a pretty good despite the Aguilera theatrics.

“Lovegame” is the perfect example of why the album is awful lyrically. “Lets have some fun, this beat is sick, I want to take a ride on your disco stick” is in the running for worst lyrics ever. It’s not helped by a boring 90’s techno/rave melody that goes nowhere and stays that way. The awful “Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)”, which musically sounds like a track on an 80s comp I’d skip over, says it all in its title, doesn’t it. You can argue that she’s doing this as some sort of “piss take” on celebrity culture. But, it’s quite clear she has a huge marketing campaign behind her. It’s clear by her fashions and her early 90’s Madonna-like stage performances that she wants people to notice her. It’s also clear that by trying to reference David Bowie and Queen, and not the artists she really resembles (Aguilera, Stefani, etc), it’s a grab for some sort of respectability that is completely fabricated.

Now for something new to my blog. I’ve been so interested and critical of this album because I listen to a lot of female dance pop artists. I wanted to see why this woman has been selected as the “next Madonna” or whatever. I am completely unconvinced, and would like to give you examples of current female artists who deserve the same popularity and exposure as Lady Gaga is getting. And, also I’ll include some songs by popular artists that do what Lady Gaga does, but better. Lest you think I’m being a snob, the first song I pick is:

Britney Spears – Break The Ice from Blackout. This song also has the live drum sound going on, but the composition of the song is of such a high quality. The cycling synth line is infectuous. And, unlike anything on Lady Gaga’s album the song fills your headphones.

Girls Aloud – Biology from Chemistry. The song starts with a shambolic rendition of a typical bluesy guitar melody, but it’s a red herring. It quickly shifts into a galloping techno track that builds with a huge crescendo. The chorus doesn’t even hit until two minutes in. This is about as good as pop music gets.

Roisin Murphy – Movie Star from Overpowered. A synth riff more monstrous than anything off Lady Gaga’s album. And a lyrical topic tackled throughout Lady Gaga’s album. Just done in a self-aware, and tactful way.

Goldfrapp – Koko from Supernatural. Another huge synth riff, clearly influenced by Gary Numan and creating a pounding yet ethereal pop track out of it. Goldfrapp make their synths rock on this track. And the bridge is divine.

Annie – Loco from Don’t Stop. This song is unreleased. I love the mixture of techno synths and britpop guitar played by Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand. I still listen to this and am amazed Annie didn’t feel it good enough to release.

Sally Shapiro – Miracle from My Guilty Pleasure. From Shapiro’s second album due August 25th. Sally Shapiro’s first album was a gorgeous, unique, well-crafted piece of work, and this first single indicates her second album will bring more of the same only better. This track is a bit more aggressive and anthemic than her earlier work. I also love how her voice is used with the little whispers and multi-tracking.

Robyn – Dream On from Robyn. A bouncy electro track that is conscious of a world beyond fame and sex. Oh, and strings.

Ladytron – Destroy Everything You Touch from Witching Hour. Electro rock pop, gothic and vital and emotional. Bright and bouncy and a dab of shoegaze guitar at the end. It takes a ton of adjectives to explain just this one song.

Lykke Li – Little Bit from Youth Novels. And finally, a slower, quieter song. It’s just as electronic as any of the above songs, but with a pretty, vaguely exotic guitar figure. The lyrics have emotional complexity, but are just as bluntly sexual as Lady Gaga gets: “And for you I keep my legs apart and forget about my tainted heart.”

June 25, 2008

Some random thoughts.

I just realized the two songs I’ve been listening to most lately are “Hug My Soul” by Saint Etienne and “Find My Soul” by Sally Shapiro.

Juno was a good movie and I had no problem with it. Nothing I wanted to change. But, I didn’t feel passionate for it either. But I just watched Enchanted, the Disney movie with Amy Adams, and I adored it.

I’m happy Jon Stewart is giving Obama just as much a hard time as anyone else. I support Obama, but I also support lack of bias.

I would argue Chuck Palahniuk is in some way a (very modern) poet.

I think it’s terrible that people accuse Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian, Lily Allen, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Mandy Moore, etc of being fat. There’s nothing wrong or unattractive with a girl having a little weight. I wonder how non-famous girls feel reading this shit. There’s a big (no pun intended) difference between a 5′ 6″ girl weighing 150 versus 200.

April 17, 2008

Mega Man II

I have possibly discovered one of the crucial links that led me to fall in love with rave music in the early 90s. This is thanks to Johan Agebjörn, who has remixed the Mega Man II music. Johan Agebjörn is Sally Shapiro’s producer. Mega Man II is a classic Nintendo game, considered by many to be one of the best. It was my favorite, and even have a version of it for the PS2 to play if that tells you anything.