Review Summary: Aye, Martina...2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Dragonette’s new album is a bit confusing. Their last album Fixin to Thrill
had me thinking that Bodyparts
would be something different. In 2009, the group seemed to be content with making music that wasn’t such an obvious cash-grab and more comfortable with simply being themselves. Let me clarify, I don’t mean that Dragonette was trying to be some pretentious pop group that felt too good for the money and fame that comes with mass exposure on the radio. It would be a mistake to assume that Dragonette wasn’t striving for some success, as any band obviously wishes to see their fan base grow over time. They just didn’t quite seem so...lost
back in 2009 as they do here. They didn’t seem as willing to sacrifice who they were as artists in order to please. The “fun” is here in some regards, but Dragonette was a band that had a healthy blend of both fun and style..
feels very much like a Dragonette album. Lead single “Let It Go” is pretty much exactly what we all expected the next single to sound like. It’s upbeat, uplifting, and just plain fun. It’s a song people should have no difficulty listening to. The rest of the tracks are full of all those bouncy, sporty beats you would want from an album like this. That’s just the problem though, it feels so safe. But the issue goes beyond this being a safe album from Dragonette. It feels as though the group half-assed the record; found some suitable beats, wrote down some typical vocals, and called it a day. Songs like “Right Woman” and “Live in This City” start off on the right track, with energetic verses and Martina’s raw attitude leaking from every pore of the song. Unfortunately, they each can’t carry themselves past one verse. Martina surprisingly cannot seem to bring the kind of energy she usually does, sounding almost annoying and bratty with lyrics like “I march my army right to it. Surrender is useless, so I’m off to war.” The choruses across the entire album feel like nothing but placeholders, there simply because a song usually contains one.
The album is also full of influences that are all too obvious. To clarify again, I don’t mean it’s wrong to have influences, every single band does. But here, Dragonette is literally cutting and pasting what works for other artists and putting it into their own music. If the beat in the chorus of “My Legs” doesn’t remind a listener of Deadmau5’s famous hit “Ghosts ‘N Stuff” almost to the note, then you’re kidding yourselves. There are also songs about the standard go-to topics of dancing and not remembering what happened the night before, sinking to the levels of Ke$ha and Katy Perry.
has its very select few moments where it does seem on the verge of something special, “Untouchable” and opener “Run Run Run” presenting the album’s strongest moments. It’s not an utter catastrophe, but it’s by no means a good record. It’s missing what made an album like Fixin to Thrill
memorable. Dragonette seemed to sound stronger when they didn’t crank the volume up on every song, focusing rather on slower songs that build up to something and lyrics actually reaching meaning. These are both key aspects that made songs like “Easy” and “Don’t Be Funny” stick long after you listen to them. The tracks here are just songs that sound fun, forgotten immediately after listening. Dragonette has neglected what they were good at; left some of their own body parts behind if you will (apologies for that). It naturally didn’t pay off for them.