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Beauties Never Die

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Among the legions of Norwegian and Scandinavian pop artists, Sissy Wish (real-life alias Siri Wålberg) is not one of those whose Platonic ideal of pop is derived from Orange Juice and the Field Mice, on the one hand, nor from Madonna and Kylie Minogue on the other. If anything, she seems to take her cues more from the Beatles and Phil Spector, which, in a sense, places her in the same lineage as ABBA. It certainly aligns her with the likes of her countrymen Sondre Lerche, Marit Larsen, and Bertine Zetlitz — all versatile artists and top-notch writers with a sharp pop sense and a distinctly modern sensibility, rooted in a clear affinity for the classic pop of the past — though she's hardly a classicist, per se, and she may just be the most musically omnivorous of the bunch. Beauties Never Die, Wålberg's third full-length and her first to see U.S. release (a full two years after it was issued in Norway), is both more adventurous and more distinctive than its predecessor, 2005's Tuning In, trading that album's rootsy, overtly '60s-influenced rock stylings for a vibrantly eclectic musical smörgåsbord. Rather than abandoning the guitars, Wålberg and producer Jorgen Traen (who's worked with Lerche, but has also generated his share of mirthful electronic mayhem as Sir Dupermann and as one-half of the whimsical Toy) simply layer them in along with everything else: plenty of synths and electronics, but also strings, trumpets, organs, pianos, steel drums, stacked backing vocals, and an expansive array of percussion including castanets, a tap-dance solo, and a squeaky sound that might be somebody rubbing a balloon. It's an impressive and often exhilarating Wall of Sound approach, mashing together rock crunch, electro sparkle, kitchen-sink pop playfulness, and moments of unexpected beauty (with just a smidgen of punkish grit), but somehow managing never to feel overstuffed. All that instrumental pizzazz wouldn't necessarily amount to much, though, if not for the songs, which are consistently strong and intriguingly crafted: harmonically intricate, lyrically rich, melodically inventive but always memorable, particularly as delivered in Wålberg's powerful, distinctive voice (it's a hard one to place, but comparisons to Chrissie Hynde, Karen O, or Regina Spektor wouldn't be entirely invalid.) The standout is probably the lilting title track, a dreamy, girl group-flavored charmer which offers the indelible insight that "it takes a lifetime to find out someone's happy to see you every day," but other highlights abound, including the fiery electro-rock of "DWTS" (whose hook is the persistent yell "do what they say!"), the tender, curious "Music on the Radio," and the bouncy, goofily Beatles-ish closer "Book." Consistently enjoyable and wonderfully captivating, if not quite outright dazzling, Beauties Never Die is nevertheless one of those albums which leaves the impression that its creator is capable of just about anything. ~ K. Ross Hoffman, Rovi


Nacido/a: Norway

Género: Pop

Años de actividad: '00s

Norwegian pop artist Sissy Wish (aka Siri Wålberg) made her debut with the Six Feet Tall EP in 2003. As an unsigned artist she received much attention and exposure on Norwegian radio and in early 2005, she won a Norwegian Grammy for the debut album You May Breathe (2004). Following 2005's Tuning In, she signed...
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Beauties Never Die, Sissy Wish
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