Boomkat Product Review:
Hook queen Jessy Lanza returns with a sticky 4th album glistening with guest chops by Jeremy Greenspan (Junior Boys), Jacques Greene, Paul White, and Pearson Sound providing wall-to-wall emotional bangers tipped if yr into anything from Michael Jackson's PYT to dopplereffekt, PWL (Kylie's 'Better The Devil You Know', the Junior Boys refix!) to YMO.
Generous with classic ‘80s FM soul and slippery pop finessed with crystalline production, ‘Love Hallucination’ is pure dance-pop, and the most varied testament to Jessy's passions for Prince, Latin freestyle, R&B and late night electro-soul modes since debuting a decade ago. While we’ve previously noted the palpable influence of Jeremy Greenspan on her work (we’re massive Junior Boys fans), her decision to dial in a broader number of co-producers this time signifies a subtle expansion and refinement of her style that likewise highlights her mutable class and razor sharp vision, meaning that ‘Love Hallucination’ plays out through 11 flawless diamonds in the most classic album style with nary a skippable cut among them.
In step with her move to LA from Ontario in recent years, Jessy’s music is now devilishly puckered with nocturnal lust. Hooks snag and drums snap with precision-tooled purpose, rewarding with a play-it-again factor comparable in the contemporary field to the precious pop of Clara La San or straighter-laced Lolina bits, but hugely distinguished by Jessy’s first-hand familiarity with the history of US dance music, and particularly Latin Freestyle, that place her tunes in a very special place in the North American/UK dance-pop nexus. As such we hear clear nods to Prince and Omar S as much as Prefab Sprout or El-B, but always rendered with immaculate space and sensuality in-the-mix.
An adult antidote to hyper-pop excesses, Lanza brings it tuff but sweet in the hi-NRG freestyle house of ‘Don’t Leave Me Now’ and lends a wickedly bittersweet tang to 2-step recalling El-B via Johnny Dark and Burial gems in ‘Midnight Ontario’, next to a Gerald Donald touch on ‘Limbo’ the sort of secret sauce found in Michael J Blood cuts with ‘Don’t Cry on my Pillow’. The wee purple fella is surely smizing from above at ‘Big Pink Rose’, and would no doubt approve of the final 3rd’s fruity sashay evinced by the turn from sultry melancholy in ‘I Hate Myself’ thru the West Coast glyde of ‘Gossamer’, to the adult contemporary jazz of ‘Marathon’ and smushed Linn drum lust of ‘Double Time’.
Just insanely addictive, highly enjoyable pop music of the highest order.