(Photo Credit - Laura McCluskey)
Advance Review - Girl Ray - Girl (November 8, 2019)
Poppy summed up their upcoming album perfectly. “Pop is so fun and universal, even if you’re a super muso nerd who’s into Elliot Smith you’re still going to love hearing a bit of Whitney Houston and that’s really appealing to me,” Poppy says. “If you hear a good groove you can’t not boogie, and we want our shows to be more of a party and for it to be more feelgood music.” “Girl,” the sophomore album of Girl Ray, is a collection of catchy pop songs that will revive memories from your past. In it, I heard The Cranberries, Cass McCombs, Ninjoi, Bea Miller, Karen O, Kendrick Lamar, every LCD Soundsystem/postpunk-pop-dance radio playlist I listen to, Beach House and even Mario Kart. (The last one is courtesy of Camélia and the intro to the song “Because.”)
The title song starts the album with a mid to late 90s vibe, sort of a b-side Spice Girls song. It goes into “Show Me More,” the song with which I connect the most. However, I could argue that “Just Down The Hall” is best from the album. It might be the most pop-sounding and could be the one that puts “Girl” on the top 20 charts.“Because” is my partner's favorite, and then these talented women slow the pace with “Let It Go,” before giving the album a hip-hop vibe with “Takes Time (feat. PSwuave).”
“Friend Like That” takes us back to that pop dance feel, and after that, Girl Ray shows off their music knowledge and understanding. They cover the gambit with R&B, retro, ballad, and reggae sounds. “Like The Stars,” the last song on the album, is the perfect way for these talented women to leave us wanting more.
Final Thought: My love for this album begins with “Show Me More.” It is the moment when I feel the groove that Poppy was speaking of. I don’t know if it is the guitar, the bass, the rhythm, or vocals. Maybe all of it together makes for a catchy song. However, it is the change in “Just Down The Hall”—listen to it. It happens at the 2:30 mark—when I know I’ve become a Girl Ray fan.
Rating - 4.5 out of 5 (Yes. I really like this album and believe we are going to hear more from this band.)