Boomkat Product Review:
Queen of Scandi disco romance, Sally Shapiro blesses Italians Do It Better with the sheer elan of her 4th album - her first in a decade - produced by Johann Agebjörn, as per.
Descending from disco heaven 15 years since her gorgeous debut, Sally & Johan leave us heart-in-mouth again with a richly gratifying new set that dilates their style to take in shine-eyed ’90s house and trance (aka Italo’s ungentrified sibling), and new jack swing influence beside typical cues from classic Italo, synth-pop and yacht disco. Very simply, it’s been worth the wait since 2013’s ‘Elsewhere’, reprising a flawless style of airspun production and immaculate songwriting brimming with memorable hooks - an ideally transportive antidote to the modern world’s gnawing anxieties.
Admirably maintaining her enigma since the start, thanks to an absolute embargo on interviews or live performance - perhaps even more impressive in an age of gurning narcissists - Sally only finds more nuance in her sound on ‘Sad Cities’, perhaps because she doesn’t waste time faffing on socials. Nah, in our mind she subsists on cotton candy and cocktails at a designer cabin in the woods, taking daily walks in the snow and writing dance-pop diamonds in the most hyggey comfort by night. Thus ‘Sad Cities’ feels like a cashmere hug of an album, perhaps not something you wear everyday but there for when you’re feeling melancholy and fancy.
We’re not sure if you had to be born in the ‘80s or earlier for this sound to really hit (this type of romance really got lost in translation by younger generations), but it’s bang on the money for the 30+ crew, including a divine soft-focus take on Madge’s ‘Holiday’, and the plushest piano house in ‘Million Ways’, while single cut ‘Forget About You’ is a potent peach, and we’re naturally smitten by her downbeat moments in the forested glow of ‘Christmas Escape’, the dreamlike glacial disco glyde of ‘Dulcinea’, and her sultry downstroke ‘Love in Slo Motion’.