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My Guilty Pleasure (Paper Bag)
Sally Shapiro is what happens when a couple of Swedes decide to pay tribute to their shared love of 80s Italo disco. (Apparently no one told them that Shapiro is a Jewish, not Italian, name.) Their first album, Disco Romance, was pretty much a straightforward execution of that equation, replacing Euro-disco cheese with detached Swedish coldness. The resulting catchy dance pop was cerebral enough to catch the ears of critics.
This time around, the duo bring more influences into the mix and sound much more modern and ornamented. This gives the recording more sonic depth, but also detracts from the delicate vulnerability that made their debut so striking. They always held the listener at a distance, but you got more of a sense of their humanity, whereas now it’s as if an impenetrable wall is hiding all emotions.
My Guilty Pleasure is a very listenable album, with plenty of high points, but overall it tends to fade into the background a little too easily.
Top track: My Fantasy