For all their fancy retro clothes, these are mainly love songs--most of them almost decent and all of them referring to a ubiquitous second person ("Nowhere Without You", "I Won't Change You", "The Walls Keep Saying Your Name"). No rocket science here then. "I Am Not Good at Not Getting What I Want" is strong, largely due to its pleasantly surprising surf guitar (probably not heard on a mainstream album since the Pulp Fiction soundtrack), combining strings and synths in equal parts. Weird mixture? That's Shoot from the Hip. --Cortman Virtue
Since then Sophie released a debut album, Read My Lips,packed full of hits. "Murder On The Dancefloor" and "Get Over You" will be stuck in brains all over the world forever.
But how has she fared in her follow-up, Shoot From The Hip? Opening track "Making Music" maybe a disco charger but, as the words inform us, this is "Making music by numbers".
Things improve with the hit single "Mixed Up World". It's a combination of the best 80s PWL creations, with a superb little humming riff. And Sophie's pop-philosophy is inspiring - "Remember you're a real tough girl" - that's what we need to know. Just sway along to the chorus with your arms in the air.
"Hello, Hello" although slightly Andrew Lloyd Webber, is beautiful. The sustained arrangement and sad lyrics mean that for once Sophie's voice is allowed to become less "Ace Of Bass", and more expressive. It makes you wonder what she could do if she tried.
But too many of the tracks here are predictable. "Party In My Head", with its cringe worthy rhyming does not inspire me to get a ticket to this exclusive venue. While "Won't Change You" is reminiscent to Pink's "Don't Let Me Get Me" but isn't as good. The two duets on this album, both with Andy Boyd, are peculiar in they are so 80s retro, but they are also rather naff. He doesn't sound like the hunk of love that you'd like to imagine Sophie might have chosen for herself.
There's a hidden track, "Let's Get Physical", which is updated to include a date in an internet café in the lyrics. WHY is this hidden? The song encapsulates Sophie; knowingly dead-pan with a little wink tipped at the listener, it's a perfect piece of ironic, kitsch chic.
Sophie needs to think long and hard about where she's going next. The songs from Shoot From The Hip, with their chewing gum melodies, don't cause too much offence. But the mileage she's got from being cool, glamorous and one dimensional is running out. I hope she's got more than this one trick pony up her sequinned sleeve. --Lucy Davies
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window
MAKING MUSIC: Starts out unexpectedly with manic electro-grooves, then launches into some very satisfying beats. I couldn't think of a better way to start out an album than with a song about abstract thinking when writing music!
MIXED UP WORLD: This is the new single, and it works very well as the second track. Human League style intro falls into a fantastic vocal harmony. Sophie reveals her inhibitions of living in a world gone mad, all the while keeping you dancing.
I WON'T CHANGE YOU: How can any song where Sophie lets you know that "She won't change you, but she'll change her underwear" be nothing short of brilliant!
NOWHERE WITHOUT YOU: A softer moment while retaining the beat. The use of backing guitar is a nice touch. The blend between electronic and analog sounds is very soothing and catchy.
ANOTHER DAY: A very excellent blend of 80's electro-pop, rhythm guitar, and symphonic violins layers this song about the strength of a lasting friendship.
PARTY IN MY HEAD: One of the standout tracks, this song sounds like a long-lost James number, with instantly catchy jangle-guitar and hummable hooks. Just when you think this CD should be winding down, Sophie lets you know that we're just getting started!
LOVE IT IS LOVE: With a fantastic 70's blaxploitation beat, revving engine sounds, and sultry disco overtones, this song sets a relentless dancefloor pace. (Complete with short guitar solo.) At one point in the song, the music seems to go into slow-motion, then breaks right back into 70's disco!
YOU GET YOURS: A rough-and-tumble stab at a lover's revenge? Or an aggressive courtship between two former lovers? Sophie hints at both, while moving from slow to fast beats with an almost manic edge.
THE WALLS KEEP SAYING YOUR NAME: Sparse piano, violins, and the sound of thunder brings to life an almost disturbing song about being haunted by a past lover.
I WON'T DANCE WITH YOU: A sonic barrage of electrobank beats mixed with catchy rhythm changes make this an excellent song celebrating the strength of women.
I AM NOT GOOD AT NOT GETTING WHAT I WANT: And I thought the Pet Shop Boys had long song titles! This song is layered with 50's jangle guitar and a great electro slow-beat. Complete with do-wop backing vocals.
HELLO HELLO: Perfect end song featuring haunting guitars and breathless vocals.
HIDDEN TRACK: I'm not telling you what it is........it's a cover of a VERY popular song. You WILL BE very surprised. This will be the song everyone is talking about.
First one made me a fan. Bought this one from amazon.uk. Read more
Making music - Good open, Mathmatic electro pop song 8/10
Mixed up world - I... Read more
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