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Jessy Lanza: Oh No *

Album Reviews:

Spin - "[T]he music creates so much space for Lanza to work her own vocal magic, sounding exponentially more assured and adventurous than before....Lanza's increased confidence provides so much more color on OH NO..."

NME (Magazine) - "Lanza's reliance on a soft '80s groove layered with funk-rooted electronica is pure Paisley Park, and her lush, airy vocals float like candyfloss across the top of it all."

Clash (magazine) - "Driven by crispy drum machines and shimmering synths, Lanza's second full-length Hyperdub offering is instantly more direct and relatable than its predecessor; cloudy reverb is replaced by sheeny production."

Album Notes

The zest Jessy Lanza exhibited as the vocalist on "Calling Card" (2015), a note-perfect freestyle throwback produced by Morgan Geist as the Galleria, carries into the singer, songwriter, and producer's second Hyperdub album. Her first one, the relatively softly lit and slowly paced Pull My Hair Back, had only slight flashes of frisky energy. One listen to the more pop Oh No makes her initial tentativeness behind the mike, however effective, seem all the more apparent. Here, beside Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan, with whom she also made the debut, she increases the tempo and lengthens the stylistic reach. Having cited Yellow Magic Orchestra and some of that group's early-'80s satellite projects -- Miharu Koshi's Tutu being the most relevant -- she and Greenspan refract techno-pop in their own way while binding additional forms of electronic post-disco that cross four decades, from boogie to juke. The title track is the album's most exceptional moment, a tumbling scramble of panning percussion, keyboards that flicker and glimmer, and Lanza's breathy, flirty voice -- for Lanza, "Oh No" appears to be as coy a title as "Oops (Oh My)" was for Tweet. That sense of affectionate levity is threaded through all the upbeat tracks, including the swift and spacy neo-electro highlight "VV Violence," the sparkling "Never Enough," and the animated part-juke come-on "It Means I Love You." Lanza's high voice, neither squeaky nor chirpy, is as much of a draw as the highly detailed productions. The ballads are as vivid and either match or surpass the best of Pull My Hair Back. On some progressive radio station in a parallel universe, the searing "I Talk BB" and "Begins" -- echoing bass drums, handclaps, and falsetto sighs galore -- duked it out with Junior Boys' "C'mon Baby" as 2016's most requested slow jam. ~ Andy Kellman


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