What a strange year we’ve had. Don’t like Killers? Go see Knight and Day! Don’t like The A-Team? Go see The Losers! And now, don’t like Liz Phair? Check out Elika!
The reviews have pretty much been universally “meh” for Liz Phair’s “Funstyle” album (even if CD kinda liked it): “Funstyle stands as something far greater than the sum of its dubious, ostensibly bullshit parts“; “I think I might be one of the few people who doesn’t see Funstyle as a total disaster!“; “It’s unclear whether Phair herself thinks Funstyle is a joke, although it’s not completely out of the question.” So if Funstyle wasn’t fun for you, or funny, or just left you cold, you might want to check out what happens when “Take A Bow” era Madonna covers Liz Phair, and throws in some atmospheric shoegaze transitions. Because that’s what you’ll find on Elika‘s “Snuggle Bunnies,” the latest release from Brooklyn’s electropoppers who self-released their latest on Bandcamp–and it’s way better than the five bucks they’re charging for it. (You can pay a lot more if you buy direct from the label.)
I remember when Madonna’s “Bedtime Stories” came out. I was living above this crackhead who used to flood his basement apartment until it was knee-deep, and then blast “Take a Bow” over and over (and over) until finally the cops came. This was a Friday ritual for the guy. So you’d think I hate the record, but I actually think it’s Madonna’s best. It’s sleek and sexy, but without the nonsensical pop bounce of a lot of her work. It’s got an overall spacey vibe, but holds to a dance beat and doesn’t sacrifice hooks. And Elika’s record has a very similar vibe.
Make sure you give this one a full chance and listen. At first you’ll want to write it off as derivative and beneath you, especially if you’re a music snob with a short attention span (like me), but if you let yourself go, the album will creep up on you. You’ll hear some wicked drumbeat loops and terrific vocals. Listen in the car and you might find yourself driving a lot smoother. If you close your eyes, you might even find yourself floating. (Don’t do that while you’re driving–it makes police ornery.)
Seriously, I’ve listened to this album twice now and keeps growing on me. A very surprising album, and a very solid release.