All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Review: Girl Goes Electric - Girl Goes Electric E.P.

Girl Goes Electric – Girl Goes Electric E.P.
2008, Girl Goes Electric/Wonder Bro

Vancouver’s Girl Goes Electric is a new world band. With roots on the World Wide Web and in a corporate coffee house there is nothing old school about the band. Girl Goes Electric is comprised of singer/songwriter Susan Dixon and keyboardist/programmer Adam Percy. Dixon has been entertaining audiences for several years with honest songwriting, a razor sharp wit and a knowing smile. Adam Percy previously held keyboard/programming duties for Toronto’s Acid Test. He’s also done tour/recording duties with Econoline Crush and Bif Naked. On the Girl Goes Electric E.P., Dixon provider Percy with new and exciting musical themes to landscape while Percy draws Dixon out of herself to create full, vibrant songs that traverse the electro-acoustic landscape.

Rough With My Body opens as an invitation and exhortation. The narrator is happy for the implied attention but also displays an emotional vulnerability that is exceedingly human in pop music. The song has a great groove to it that would allow it to pass into the club scene without difficulty, but could also be stripped down into a straight up rock or even folk arrangement with ease. Come As You Are is a bit more wanton in its desires but is also a bit more repressed musically. This sonic ambivalence is both disturbing and intriguing and leaves you wondering about the true intentions of the antagonist. Just Drive is a stark and poignant look at bad choices as they might look in the middle of the night. Dixon’s voice has been enhanced with effects here to provide a dreamlike quality to the vocal that magnifies the “bad dream” feel of the subject matter. One Inside Another is an upbeat pop song with electronic flourish that’s a solid continuity piece leading into Pin-Up Girl. Pin-Up Girl has a burlesque quality beyond the mere suggestion of its title. The musical arrangement is dark and full of a jazz/funk feel that frames the song perfectly. Best of all, Susan Dixon does her best vocal work here; breaking out of the shell that she’s been hemmed into over the first four songs. Here the performance personality Dixon is known for simply runs off the speakers in waves.

Girl Goes Electric is an interesting marriage of electric and acoustic, although the arrangements here seem to use Dixon’s acoustic-based writing as a mere guide as Adam Percy whips up an electronic world for each song to inhabit. The songs are edgy and interesting and bordering on truly unique, but I almost think I would have enjoyed them more if there were a bit more balance between the electronic and acoustic elements. Susan Dixon is at her vocal best on the last track, but at times seems trapped within all of the electronic framing Percy creates. The individual parts here are great, and the sum is really quite good, but the balance might benefit from a little tweaking. Nevertheless, the Girl Goes Electric E.P. is a great introduction to the duo!

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Girl Goes Electric at The Girl Goes Electric E.P. is available in digital format from outlets such as iTunes, eMusic and CDs will be available in the near future through

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