I loved the original, stripped down sound of Shy Child's last album, and so the highly polished pop sound of this one came as a bit of a shock - but after a single listen I was grabbed. For a start, every song on the album is so catchy that having played it just twice it replayed in my head constantly for a week! Luckily this just allowed me to appreciate its depth. I can't understand how some reviewers see this album as superficial - as in their classic single 'Summer' on the last album, their enigmatic but evocative lyrics and their sound are both bitter-sweet and poignant, combining a determination to appreciate life to the full with an awareness of the inescapable pain and alienation of our lives. In fact, I find their music so emotional that the beauty and upbeat danceability of it is a neccessary antidote to the seriousness of their messages.
Perhaps the album is a little over-produced - when they finally did a track (Criss Cross) that sounded more like their previous album it was great to hear their unique, special sound again - but this also reminded me of how boring it might have become if they had not branched out into different musical forms. While I still love their last album, this album is more musically mature and accomplished, with a very even quality throughout.
There is so much truly superficial indie pop around just now it seems very sad to me that a band that have managed to use familiar accessible formats to deliver profound songs have not met with more acclaim. I had started to think that I didn't like pop music but they have reminded me that Motown, the Beatles, Daft Punk, arguably Mozart, all understood the value of high quality pop songs. They have shown wirh their earlier work they can be innovative and experimental, but now have shown that they have also mastered their medium and can change styles. Thye are good looking and cool. What more do they need to do to be properly appreciated?!
Shy Child are a pair of New York based minstrels : Pete Cafarella who sings and plays synths and Nate Smith who provides all the beats.
Their new album 'Liquid Love' is a neat little package of sparkly electro-pop which manages to be funky and frivolous in equal measure.
The ten tracks in this collection will certainly not set the listening world ablaze but there is more than enough here to make us dance and smile.
Now here's a thing. I never (ever!) liked the Bee Gees but Shy Child's vocal arrangements are more than a little redolent of the terrible-three's style. Falsetto harmonies have always made me more than a little nervous but Mr Cafarella managed to convince me that there might still be some mileage in the continuance of this dubious musical tradition. (We must assume, of course, that his high voice is naturally, rather than surgically, determined!) The formula works well.
The melodies are, in the main, charming and the beats propel the action forever forward in a largely predictable but pleasing fashion. In fact there is very little in this jaunty confection which might offend!
I particularly enjoyed opening (and title) track 'Liquid Love' which bounces along happily like a naughty puppy, sniffing every tree and lamppost it finds its nose in front of (If you like Sam Sparro you'll almost certainly like this too) and 'The Beatles', which is (sort-of) about The Beatles but doesn't sound like The Beatles at all. (It's not like The Bee Gees either, thank goodness!) It's got a good tune all of its own and I may have danced to it spontaneously when Mrs Wolf left the room to prepare supper! (Had she witnessed this fleeting moment I would have been given THE LOOK for sure!!)
Shy Child never take us too far away from a nicely reinvented 80's ambience. 'Depth Of Feel' and 'Strange Emotion' could easily have slipped out of that curious decade without anyone noticing their absence from the party.
Final track 'Dark Destiny' is a real curiosity with which to bring the project to a close. The down-beat vocals sort of slip away at the end of every line as though Mr Cafarella is reabsorbing them into his mind and body (A risky undertaking for any artist!) It's a lovely little song actually!
It is entirely right that we should all try to keep a place in our hearts open for simple things. 'Liquid Love' deserves to be witnessed at least once in its small life before it disappears over the vast and ephemeral horizon of sonic creation, never to be seen or heard again.
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I bought into the hype for Noise Wont Stop and while it was enjoyable it was lacking a bit of fun.
Having read NMEs pretty scathing review of this album I almost ignored it completely but managed to get a copy for very cheap and I have to say thank God I ignored NME in the end. This album is FUN! It may be a little camp and it may sound a little lazy to some but I really enjoy it. Open Up The Sky is fantastic.
If you like your synthy music to be a little more tunefull than in your face then this shouldnt disappoint.