"And if I tell you now that, (after constanly playing this cd), it's the girl pop album of the year, bar none, would you believe me? Well, you'd better."
Sissy Wish – "You May Breathe"
Immediate impressions on receiving this release (based entirely on looking at the cover) were; bloody hell, a bonkers Norwegian. I mean to say, using the telephone in living room submerged in water? Still, I put it on, not expecting much...
And if I tell you now that, (after constanly playing this cd), it's the girl pop album of the year, bar none, would you believe me? Well, you'd better. "Stars" is a breezy, assertive opener, very reminiscent of Throwing Muses circa 1990, that is pretty damned brilliant, all jangling guitars and girly resolve, only for it, in it's turn to be knocked out of sight by "Annoying" (what a great title, eh?) a song that is the possessor of the most beautiful splashy guitar hooks outside of the Byrds. Strangely its also reminiscent of Sheryl Crow in the most positive way imaginable (Gawd, who would have thought it? I mean to say, kooky, accessible girl pop but no airbrushing in this case).. And you think Im losing it here, wait till the next song
"Noise in the Cup" is just the best pop song around, reminding me of everything and nothing. Its got that rare advantage of sounding like twenty classic pop songs but, at the same time being utterly itself. The trail out vocal 'lah di dahs' hint at The Cocteaus' gorgeous "Fotzen politik". Brill.
"Dictaphone" sees a drop in tempo, what one would expect at this point is a maudlin, love-lorn examination of feelings but what we do get instead is a sweeping, aethereal chorus that glides gloriously into view and catch the listener off balance. A fantastic surprise, and very reminiscent of Ultra Vivid Scene (but don't ask me why). "Let Us Meet the End" is classic Shirelles or Dusty In Memphis territory; a massive soul ballad, thumping drums and sentiments that will start the tears running through mascara. "No Company" is similar, very Spector-ish in it's presentation and a thumping chorus to boot. Ridiculous and over the top choral backing vocals lend a feel of a groovy Valhalla. It's great and daft.
"Double Dip Atari" takes a somewhat softer line, almost Abba-esque; it's a track very much in thrall to the tradition of the Show Tune and Lloyd Webber, but gets away with it, just. Incidentally, I really like the way this album is shamelessly poppy and mainstream, whilst being quite weird...
The best song on the album, "In the 2nd We Speak, Breathe..." is a glorious, Patti Smith surge of underplayed, menacing guitars and a wonderful chorus augnented by a very beautiful piano chord and slide guitar. Utterly, utterly fantastic. The other highlights are a thumping "Swallow Hearts" (complete with gloriously Cocteaus-ish chorus) and the bonus track "The Six Feet Tall". Brillliant and completely hypnotic.
BUY IT! YOU HEAR ME?
Words: Rcihard Foster.