Sally Shapiro, My Guilty Pleasure
The Swedish dancefloor juggernaut all the indie kids love returns with more stargazing anthems
Singer Sally Shapiro burrowed out of Sweden in 2007 as a fully-formed dancefloor juggernaut. As a snow-flecked Italo-disco anomaly fueled by producer Johan Agebjörn, Shapiro quickly soaked up the same poptimistic blog-reading audience that devoured Scandinavian pop starlets like Annie and Robyn. But unlike those power-piped popsters, Sally Shapiro has the shy, quiet, subdued delivery of an indie-rocker — a gorgeous affect certainly not absent on her follow-up My Guilty Pleasure. While producer Agebjörn has gone for a lusher, meatier production (even occasionally hurtling towards a cosmic version of Pet Shop Boys), Shapiro's voice remains a muted coo, like "Lucky Star"-era Madonna if she whispered all her songs into her diary. The juxtaposition enhances the lovesick mood of songs like "Looking at the Stars," "Love In July" and "My Fantasy," as Sally plays the role of the stargazing dreamer on the album cover, a diva so lost in longing that she gets completely drowned in her surroundings. When she murmurs, "I'm burning inside" on closing track "Miracle," it's Agebjörn's suffocating synths that amplify her sentiment, wrapping her voice like a warm blanket, exposing the heartbreak and rapture hidden underneath her deadpan delivery.