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Thread: Sally Shapiro - Somewhere Else

  1. #1
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Lancaster, Kentucky, United States

    Default Sally Shapiro - Somewhere Else

    online listen
    dreamy vocals
    some club tracks
    only a couple like the clip
    1.2 from me and a converted 2.4 from allmusic

    from the album - What Can I Do

    released Feb 26th, 2013

    Bio - from allmusic

    In a sense, Sally Shapiro is both the recording pseudonym of an anonymous Swedish singer and
    also the name of a duo consisting of that singer and producer/writer Johan Agebjörn, who are
    together responsible for the music released under the moniker "Sally Shapiro." That music,
    combining Shapiro's delicate, silvery vocals with Agebjörn's vintage-styled synthesizer dance
    tracks, is a deliberate and meticulous replication of the sound of 1980s Italo disco, as well
    as a distillation of the melancholic yet hopeful sentimentality commonly associated with twee
    indie pop.
    The pair first met in 2001, working in an office together, but it wasn't until Christmas 2004
    that Agebjörn, a lifelong Italo disco lover, noticed Shapiro's voice while they were singing
    carols at his piano. He told her she would make an excellent Italo-style singer, and as luck
    would have it she turned out to be a fan of the genre as well. Shapiro agreed to record vocals
    for a tune Agebjörn had penned in the style of Valerie Dore and Katy Gray (similarly
    pseudonymous singers who were backed by obscured writing/production teams), although when they
    finally got around to it in early 2006, she was so shy that Agebjörn had to leave the room
    while she sang her part. The resulting track, "I'll Be by Your Side," was almost
    instantaneously hailed as a modern classic on online disco forums; it was given a vinyl release
    on the Austrian label Diskokaine that July and was soon championed in such outlets as
    Pitchfork, Vice, and The Village Voice.

    The album Disco Romance followed on Diskokaine in December, containing that song and five more
    Shapiro/Agebjörn collaborations (one of them, the single "Anorak Christmas," a cover of the
    Swedish indie pop one-man band Nixon), two remixes, and an ambient Agebjörn instrumental. In
    October 2007, Canadian-based indie Paper Bag Records released Disco Romance in North America
    with a revised track listing including three new songs (two by Nixon's Roger Gunnarsson; one of
    them penned specifically for Shapiro) and the extended version of "I'll Be by Your Side."
    Shapiro's much-discussed shyness (she still refuses to record vocals while anyone is in the
    room) precluded her from music videos or making live appearances to promote the album, although
    she has given numerous interviews.

    The duo still managed to stay in the minds of critics and fans, however, by releasing two
    albums of remixes, Remix Romance, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 -- which included contributions from
    artists like Dntel, Holy ****, the Juan Maclean, Junior Boys, and the Russian Futurists -- in
    April and June of 2008, respectively. The duo followed up their first album with another that
    followed a similar format, 2009's My Guilty Pleasure, before taking a break to work on other
    projects. Shapiro added guest vocals to a song ("Don't Be Afraid") on Anoraak's 2010 album
    Wherever the Sun Sets while Agebjörn released the excellent Casablanca Nights album in 2011,
    with many tracks featuring vocals by Shapiro. The duo reconvened in 2011 to record a new album
    and the result was 2013's Somewhere Else. The album featured the return of Gunnarsson and
    collaborations with Le Prix and Electric Youth, as well as an alternate version of "Don't Be

    Album Review - from allmusic

    After two albums of excellent, sad Italo-disco made by the team of Johan Agebjörn and the
    vocalist known as Sally Shapiro under the name Sally Shapiro, the duo must have realized it was
    time to adjust the formula just a bit in order to keep things sounding right. Both 2007's Disco
    Romance and 2009's My Guilty Pleasure successfully stuck very close to the template of placing
    cheap- and icy-sounding synths over somewhat corny electro-disco beats with Shapiro's sweet and
    nearly artless vocals on top singing painfully melancholy lyrics about heartbreak of all kinds.
    2013's Somewhere Else doesn't stray far from their established sound -- the duo aren't crazy
    enough to ditch such a distinctive approach, and frequent collaborator Roger Gunnarsson is on
    hand to co-write four songs -- but they bring in some new ideas, new beats, and a handful of
    interesting collaborators to help make the album feel fresh. While tracks like "If It Doesn't
    Rain Tonight" and "Architectured Love" wouldn't have sounded out of place on the first two
    albums, the almost giddily funky "My Local Italo Disco DJ Has a Crush on Me" could have been on
    Madonna's first album; "What Can I Do" features guitars and has the feel of a classic Saint
    Etienne song; "I Dream with an Angel Tonight" has some nicely glitchy techno drum machine
    sounds, and "Sundown" has all the hallmarks of a '90s electro ballad, from the huge gated drum
    sound to the jazzy chord changes and the smarmy sax break. The duo must have been big fans of
    the Drive soundtrack because they brought in Bronwyn Griffin of Electric Youth to add vocals to
    "Starman," and Anoraak to co-write and produce "Don't Be Afraid." Both songs capture the late-
    night, rainy streets Drive aesthetic with Shapiro's voice fitting very well with the desolate
    mood. These stylistic shifts aren't seismic by any stretch, but they are all handled gracefully
    and add new dimension to the Sally Shapiro sound. They couldn't have kept on doing the same
    thing, as good as it was, much longer without the diminishing returns catching up with them. As
    it is, with the improvements, revamps, and overall more interesting arrangements, Somewhere
    Else manages to be the equal of Disco Romance, and the only reason it isn't better is that it
    lacks the surprise factor that made Sally Shapiro's debut so breathtaking.

    Track Listing

    1. Prescript
    2. I Dream with an Angel Tonight
    3. All My Life
    4. This Citys Local Italo Disco DJ Has a Crush on Me
    5. What Can I Do
    6. If It Doesnt Rain
    7. Sundown
    8. Starman
    9. Lives Together
    10. Dont Be Afraid (Alternative Version)
    11. Architect of Love12. Postscript
    “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”
    Will Rogers

  2. #2


    no thanks...

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