Wanted: Sultry Vocals and Soothing Beats
The thing you’ll like best about Bitter:Sweet’s The Mating Game is its unobtrusiveness. Producer Kiran Shahani is the star here, while Shana Halligan’s vocals support each track’s tonality. Our fearless duo has executed an impressive one-two combination that is certain to delight.Moody conjures up a 1960s French New Wave film noir theme. “Our Remains” opens with an acoustic bass riff followed by a jungle drum beat complete with ray-gun zaps and warbles a la Roni Size. “Dirty Laundry” pops with big orchestra hits, turntable scratches, trickling pianos, and well-timed John Barry brass blasts.
Whether or not Bitter:Sweet meant to sound this cool, congratulations to them for hitting the jackpot. Would these songs be as impressive performed live? That’s a concern; this is definitely a studio album. Listeners may recognize that “Overdue” uses the same sample Cypress Hill borrowed for “Ultra Violet Dreams”. During “Heaven,” strings pluck over bongos and organ as Halligan’s sultry whisper-voice sneaks up on you from behind.
Bitter:Sweet tempts one to listen closer. You’ll want to rewind so as to pick up the occasional obscured lyric, as in “Moving Forward.” See how the refrain, “What state am I in?”, relates to each listener in a completely individual and unique way
The Cardigans, Gus Gus, Air — these are all artists who excel at creating a world of sound that doesn’t belong to just one time period, artists whose music can come up on random at any time at any place and somehow feel like a perfect fit for the occasion. If you enjoy them you’ll certainly want to be part of Bitter:Sweet’s The Mating Game.