Review Summary: A class act…
There’s just something about a formula, when it works and its creator knows so, that’s so irresistible and instantly satisfying. Elizabeth Harper and her producer cum band-mates certainly prove they possess said formulaic knowledge on Class Actress’s debut LP, Rapprocher
, as the formula remains the same across the album’s 11 adept tracks – icy, retro-synth beats married to rich, sensual vocals and wry, romantic pop-anthem lyrics.
That’s not to say the album is samey or unsatisfying, the opposite is true in fact, as the levels of competency are astounding on Rapprocher
, raising it above the work of most indie electro craftsmen. There’s nothing ground-breaking here though, but nor should there be – Harper and company’s musical taste is rooted deep in early 80s synth-pop, with mostly British acts such as Yazoo and The Human League springing to mind as the clunky, robotic beats of tracks like ‘Weekend’ pulse away.
But rather than acting as a cheap throwback to the pop music of decades ago or relying too heavily on its influence, Class Actress display a level of sophistication and intelligence with their sound, moulding the retro, warbling synth sounds of the past with the modern arrangements and fresh atmospheres of the current. To cut a long story short, the band has seemingly found the perfect balance of new and old, creating a tantalising mix which is both thoroughly fresh and unashamedly retro.
Whatever the balance, it most definitely works. The track-list is consistent, the melodies catchy and layered, and the vocals lush and textured. Harper’s voice is silky and poised, adding a wash of warmth to the chilling robo-beats with her memorable and anthemic lines. Right from the danceable bounce of the swaggeringly cool ‘Keep You’ and ‘Weekend’, to electro-pop ballads, ‘Love Me Like You Used To’, ‘Need To Know’ and ‘Missed’, Rapprocher
plays out like a hits compilation of forgotten, leftfield 80s gems that never got the attention they deserved – and if they don’t get the attention they deserve this time around then something is severely wrong.
is one of those rare albums that just delivers from the first second and doesn’t stop producing belters to the very end. Sure, it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but for anyone with a pallet for retro 80s synth-pop or slickly cool indie electro, at any level, a full-price admission to Rapprocher
’s catchy brand of computer pop couldn’t come highly recommended enough, as this is one show that offers instant delights to both audiences - and that’s not a common quality for new artists to possess, let alone as assuredly as this one does.
Recommended Tracks: Keep You, Love Me Like You Used To, Weekend, Prove Me Wrong, Need To Know, Limousine, Missed