By Mandy Rogers / Photo By Michael Young
The Chinese may have declared this to be the Year Of The Dragon, but in terms of popular music there has been a likeminded physic wave of thought that has been coming to light over the past few weeks. We’re not horsing around! An equine theme has been emerging, most noticeably The Scissor Sisters announced a follow-up single to “Shady Love”, called “Only The Horses” but there are a few others bobbing about out there too.
There’s one artist that we care too write about a lot, as for us, his music continually hits our hot spot. When it comes to dance synth pop, he’s bang on trend of it, and it seems new album out, SIRPAUL has pulled in a fortuitous stroke with naming his new album “The Horse”, even though he obviously didn’t know so when he was working on it.
We have had the immense pleasure to listen through SIRPAUL’s forthcoming long player “The Horse” and in turn present to you our review of it.
Of course, SIRPAUL hasn’t put out an album here, dedicated to majestic four legged animals, “The Horse” picks out and represents a metaphor for the running theme of the album, of universal love. As an Out Gay Artist SIRPAUL has very much created his own style of cleverly accruing tongue in cheek and tastefully sexually cultured audioporn content, (for want of a better of description), that brings out a good showing of saucy, sassy and playful, but with the underlying love themed momentum running throughout. As with SIRPAUL’s previous album “Music and Me”, where sexual audio imagery and music went hand in hand, “The Horse” follows on in bringing out the music on this – as CSS would have put it as, Music is “the” HOT HOT sex. Nothing beats a filthy bass line, and a bit of sassy in my preferred electro pop opinion!
The album seamlessly wends its way from beginning to its 15 track end, encountering and capturing a sonic spectrum of the 80’s sounds, fired from the off by a rolling nu-wave dance introduction of “Ride” into the Hi-NRG push of “Human Machine” and thirdly into a drop down of bass line bump and grinding on newly released single “Body Connection” featuring New York Rapper Loco Ninja, that tops off with a semi prominent spacey synth hook, which if my ears do not deceive me, SIRPAUL is masterfully pulling a cheeky play on Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”!
Well now, the answer to that I just cannot divulge – so best you just listen on the track!
Hot stepping it into the disco – “King Of The World”, first touches in on some Pet Shop Boy’s inspirational sound bytes that runs through on “Glow” and other tracks further down the line, but on "King Of The World” it’s very much a “Go West” vibe that emanates and shakes it’s disco tail.
As we hit “Lay It On Me” we’ve clicked in on the late 80’s American wave of mirror ball spinning synth charged melody, which kicks back in again later down the line on the album on “Dark Beat” – both are going to take a good number of it’s listeners back to their school disco days.
For all the album’s coherent disco and 80’s representation it’s track “Like A Horse” that I feel beats from a different drum, more of a progression into the 90’s, with a distinct indie pop bounce about it, rather like The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony” – quite different from anything else I’ve heard from SIRPAUL before, but it completely works and it’s a definite album highlight for me. An indie pop interlude and straight back onto the Studio 54 disco dance floor with us on “To The Beat Of My Heart” , which was put out as a taster a few weeks ago, which we jumped to review (see the review here)
Every album brings in a slowie or two, “The Horse” is no exception, it has two “Nude” and slinky ballad “In Your Eyes”, which of the two shows off SIRPAUL’s accomplished musicality to full perfection. To my mind “In Your Eyes” is SIRPAUL’s finest moment yet.
What can we say about “5th Pocket” well, there’s always room for a little bit of camp, in my book, especially when it’s so fun, flirty and not too serious of itself!
On my first listen through of this album, it was next up on the listing “Strict”, that boldly shone out, for one thing with it’s forthright lyrics and uberly sexilicious bass line pound, but moreover, that I felt this track would be an absolute fit for Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon’s voice, not that SIRPAUL doesn’t in anyway sell it, because he does, but to hear Simon Le Bon sing this, would be amazing I think!
As the album draws in, one more turn around the home of disco, studio 54 with us, with it’s cowbells at the ready - the complete disco recipe brews up on “Hardcore Crazy”.
To close on “Universal Love”, with what I would term as a return to SIRPAUL’s signature sound, stemming from previous album “Music and Me”, this is the most identifiable track to anything that has foregone before the release of “The Horse” album and aptly as an album closer, completes a circle.
If you are crazy mad on synth pop, or enjoy very good pop to bop too, “The Horse” whilst an accomplished music piece, is not pretentious of it’s polish, it’s fun with a capital F and although it is 15 tracks long it’s careful to shift it’s dynamics too keep the listener engaged, bolstering broad appeal to the wide music consumer market.
Last word on it – It’s quite something you should buy it!
“The Horse” by SIRPAUL will be released on April 3rd and will be available via iTunes.