Class Actress

Movies

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

After releasing the near-brilliant synth pop confection Rapprocher in 2011, Class Actress seemingly vanished. In reality, the group's vocalist and songwriter Elizabeth Harper signed to Casablanca Records, moved to L.A., and set her sights on working with the newly unretired disco legend Giorgio Moroder. Due to scheduling conflicts, the arrival of any new music took a long, long time. Finally in 2015, the six-song EP Movies was released. Along with Harper's always sultry and warm vocals, the record features Moroder as executive producer and Casablanca founder Neil Bogart's son Evan as collaborator and producer. Neon Indian's Alan Palomo produces a track, too. This shift in Harper's team and her move to the tackily glamorous environs of Hollywood led to a warmer, less synth pop-influenced album, instead substituting a shimmery, unsurprisingly disco-inspired sound (the super shiny "GFE"), songs that could have been taken from one of Moroder's soundtracks from the '80s ("More Than You," "The Limit") and one that feels like the best Prince protégé track that never was ("High on Love"). The torchy title track dispenses with the synth pop angle almost entirely, aiming for a swaying, ultra-nocturnal Lana Del Rey vibe instead. While the production is decidedly slicker than on Rapprocher and the emotions are buried a little beneath all the gloss, Movies is still a fine example of how to make pop music that doesn't aim for the lowest common denominator, but has some smarts and class to go along with the hooks and swagger.

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