Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sally Shapiro - Disco Romance

From all accounts the vast amount of music classified as 80's Pop is extremely dated and even hard to listen to 20+ years on from the time it was produced. If I had never heard a note of 80's music or watched a minute of VH1 shows like Why I Love the 80's, I would think Sally Shapiro's Disco Romance was the soundtrack to a prom from 1984. Let's back up for a moment. Sally Shapiro is a pseudonym for an anonymous Swedish singer whose main influences are 80s Eurobeat and Italo disco. Shapiro is extremely closed off from any publicity (except for a rare interview with Pitchfork), and rarely performs live. The album was produced by Johan Agebjörn and takes its cues from those previously mentioned genres but mostly stays on a emotionally melancholy level.

Disco Romance is a pretty transparent record that harps on nostalgia and the feelings of having loved and lost. While others have praised this album for its deep meaning, and even its creativity, I must be listening to a different album. While Pitchfork gave it an 8.5 how can anyone decipher meaning from a review that includes sentences like this: "If verbalization is inherently reductive, then writing about music is a way to encode the moment loss-free." Really? C'mon. Just because I'm an English major doesn't mean I want to diagram a sentence and flip through a dictionary to read a music review. I want to know if it's good, what it sounds like, and maybe an analogous mainstream artist. That should be pretty simple. Disco Romance isn't all it's cracked up to be. Is it pleasant to listen to? Yeah, I guess so. Is it terribly creative in its production? No. Does is make me glad I don't live with 80's music now? Certainly. The record is pretty monotonous. It doesn't all sound identical, but it's pretty close. To offer out "standout" tracks would be superfluous. It's 80's music brought back from the dead and slightly modernized to meet Gen X's emotional angst. If that sounds appealing, all the more power to you. Would it make my hypothetical Best of 2007 list, not likely. Will it make most of the other Big Names' lists, probably.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Biting commentary - I Love It!