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Shoot from the Hip

Sophie Ellis-Bextor

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Album Review

Sophie Ellis-Bextor's second album lacks anything nearly as distinctive as her early singles "Murder on the Dancefloor" and "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)," but it's still a solid, perfectly respectable collection of contemporary dance-pop. Of course, "respectable" doesn't necessarily count for much in pop terms, although Ellis-Bextor has mastered a knack for exuding sophistication without being off-putting and stuffy — she's so posh (viz. her unmistakable accent) that the slickness of the production complements her personality rather than diluting it. Still, the songs have to be there, and the songs on Shoot from the Hip rarely rise above the merely pleasant, the best bets there being the smooth disco single "Mixed-Up World" and the chipper "I Won't Change You," whose groove is reminiscent of Kylie Minogue's far-superior "Love at First Sight." Production-wise, there's enough variety to keep the album from sagging, particularly as things turn slightly darker and moodier towards the latter half with the spiky "You Get Yours" and the odd, haunted "The Walls Keep Saying Your Name." The understated ballad "I Am Not Good at Not Getting What I Want," co-written with Bernard Butler, rounds things out nicely. [Some editions included a cover of Olivia Newton-John's "Let's Get Physical" as a hidden bonus track.] ~ K. Ross Hoffman, Rovi

Biography

Born: 10 April 1979 in London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Throughout the '90s, the U.K. music scene was filled to the brim with nerdy cockney types sporting messy threads and even messier hair. Fresh-faced Sophie Ellis-Bextor was among the first Brit-pop stars to break with this trend. She made it onto the stage in 1997 as the teenage vocalist behind new wave outfit theaudience. Smartly dressed (often in black) and boasting a sexy, posh voice, she caused quite a stir on London's alternative circuit. Theaudience became known the world over as a groundbreaking...
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Shoot from the Hip, Sophie Ellis-Bextor
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