The sweet bubbly voice of Sally Shapiro is not that of a Long Island diva hitting the New York club scene, but that of an unknown Swedish singer who uses the pseudonym Sally Shapiro to release some of the catchiest neo-disco on any side of the Atlantic. But she is not a one-person gig. Along for the ride is producer Johan Agebjörn who helps craft the tuneful excursions.
Sally Shapiro’s debut record was a dance floor smash and drew raves from the indie music press. With the follow-up, My Guilty Pleasure, she continues to press forward, eschewing the harder disco sound in favor of a blend of pure 80s synth-pop and house music.
The songs are as memorable as before. “My Fantasy” is an immediate standout; a trance-like beat and a simple melody line propelling her effortless vocals. “Save Your Love’ is straight out of the 80s, starting with a Yaz-inspired keyboard riff and continuing through the over-produced chorus so indicative of the decade. “Dying in Africa” is a strong techno/chill track, with wispy vocals and a light percussive drone.
And the 80s hits keep on coming. The record closes with “Miracle”, whose chorus melody echoes the Bananarama hit “I Heard A Rumor”. Shapiro is not afraid to step outside the dance music confines either. The opener is “Swimming to the Blue Lagoon”, a purely ambient instrumental that is distinct from the rest of the songs and a refreshingly unconventional way to open the record.
My Guilty Pleasure avoids the sophomore slump and puts Sally Shapiro on the path to synth-pop stardom.