Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Best of 2011: Class Actress

Best of 2011

Song: Limousine
Artist: Class Actress
Album: Rapprocher

There were a handful of 80's-inspired indie-electro records that really shined to me this year, and a couple surprised me in how with repeated listens, they continued to get under my skin and forced repeated listens.  Initially, when I heard Brooklyn's Class Actress, I liked lead singer Elizabeth Harper's pretty if semi-disconnected voice and the early Madonna-ish relatively simplistic electro.  But repeated listens proved the album to be emotionally rich lyrically, and the dated sound began to transcend itself... it was like an 80's spell had been cast.

I fell for single "Weekend" when I first heard "Rapprocher" as well as album track "Limousine," both being the more upbeat tracks from the set, yet having this laid-back, detached cool to them.  But as I got more into the album, slower burning tracks like "Love Me Like You Used To" and "Prove Me Wrong" began to shine... and this was when the full beauty of the album took hold.  It's a club record without all the ra-rah hooks and big big choruses... sure, I love that stuff, but what was great about "Rapprocher" was its calm approach to dance music.

The band started out with an indie-rock guitar-based sound until producer/keyboardist Mark Richardson did a remix of one of their songs and Harper liked the sound better.  Third member Scott Rosenthal joined the band after the change in sound and Class Actress was born.  It's odd to know that, as they seem so assured with this sound... and hard to think of any of these songs as "rock" versions.

This is a quiet little record that could... seemingly unassuming, but slowly creeps up on you with its nostalgia charm, bored vibe, and most importantly... the intoxicating vocals of Ms. Harper.

I also LOVE that cover!


Love Me Like You Used To

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