5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Under-rated, superb, era-defining LP,
This review is from: The It Girl (Audio CD)
Whenever Britpop is discussed in the monthly music mags, Sleeper are usually placed firmly in the second division alongside the likes of Cast and Shed Seven. If they weren't at the right place at the right time they would never have made it seems to be the general premise. This opinion seems very harsh when this excellent album is played or re-played.
The It Girl, Sleeper's second album is a superb example of indie-pop with an added edge and bite courtesy of Louise Wener's sneery vocals and lyrics. It's no coincidence that it's one of the most frequent LPs playing in the background to the bitchy, era-defining TV series This Life.
Wener's expressive, often semi-spoken singing and angry lyrical put-downs are highly effective especially on tracks like the opener Lie Detector and Dress Like Your Mother. I could quote examples though, as with all songwriters apart from the true poets like Leonard Cohen and prime Bob Dylan, the impact of a lyric is at least half down to the musical context and delivery rather than merely the words themselves...
Aha, the musical context. As well as some fine words and vocals, The It Girl also includes some excellent tunes. In addition to the tracks already mentioned, further highlights include the hit singles Sale Of The Century, What Do I Do Now? and the Blondie influenced Statuesque. Further highpoints include the biting bounce of Feeling Peaky and coming-down closer Click...Off...Gone.
All songs on The It Girl are written entirely or co-written by Louise Wener who at the time was quite justifiably angry that critics often presumed that she, as a woman, didn't write the music. Yes Sleeper certainly had their detractors and further less understandable outbursts in the press probably didn't help Louise's cause. However, this shouldn't take any credit away from The It Girl which is a superb period-defining LP. Maybe those who placed Sleeper in Britpop's second stream should listen to it once again, ignore their prejudices and adjust the band's league position accordingly.