Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sky Ferreira songs: The Good, The Bad and The Downright Excellent

Having listened to her album solidly for the last couple of weeks (as well as her previous songs), I thought now would be a fitting time to analyse Sky Ferreira’s extensive body of work so far. Here is my summerisation of her career so far, in my opinion of course:
Starting with her earliest singles:

The Good - ‘One’
This is a controversial one, a few of Sky’s ‘true fans’ would be outraged at the mention of this song in any positive light whatsoever (she has openly talked about this faze in her career being an absolute nightmare). But that doesn’t make this song any less great. It isn't as edgy as her more recent work, but electropop really doesn’t get any slicker than this. The video is also brilliant, classy and well-shot (with lots of wind). The most risqué it gets is her lip locking with a light bulb, but well forgive her as she was probably totally against it. Although she does appear to be forced into a ‘cute, innocent little girl’ box at times, it is still far classier than most pop videos you see these days. This would’ve fit in well in a Robyn album. B+

The Meh - 17
This song isn’t that bad, it’s just a little underwhelming, Sky is better than this. It’s just really lack-lustre and boring. The vocals are badly mastered, it’s messy and the chorus doesn’t go anywhere. The demo on the other hand is far better and proves that she can (and will) do better. This is by no means the worst it gets. C
The bloody Awful - Obsession
At this point I thought it was game over. This was rock bottom. She has on multiple occasions stated that she did not want to do this song and she definitely didn’t want it to be a single, she was practically tricked into doing it. The song itself is bad but the video is abysmal. She is clearly uncomfortable and doesn't want to be there, it’s as if her management is holding a gun to her head at times, threatening to put the trigger if he doesn't smile.
The bottom line is that this video is creepy, it’s like watching child exploitation right in front of your eyes. She looks dead behind the eyes, a soulless mannequin. And the whole Michael Madsen thing is weird as hell. This should never have happened. F.
Fortunately, this wasn’t the end of her career. Unfortunately, the ‘As If!’ EP happened. A lot of people liked it but I for one thought it was a bit crap. I’d rather move on to her more recent (an far greater) tracks so here is a run-through of the tracks on this EP:

Sex rules - Cheap, Cheap, Cheap. D-
Traces - The chorus is pretty good but not a patch on her better stuff. C+
Haters Anonymous - Sounds a bit like a Lady Gaga B-side, but this isn’t Sky. C-
99 Tears - Could’ve been good but it ended up being a bit of a mess. D+
108 - The best on the EP, if you merged a few of Lana’s unreleased tracks it would probably sound something like this. But it isn’t enough to save this EP. B-

Ah, here’s where things get a lot better, when most people ruled her out she came back fighting in a massive way:

Sad Dream - Good
Who would’ve thought she could do folk so well? While Sad Dream was a bit of a shock, it was a good one. Here, Sky gives one of her most emotionally charged vocal performances of her career thus far, with satisfying results. B+

Lost In My Bedroom - Awesome
This was one of my highlights of her career so far, the throbbing synths are hypnotising and her vocals are quite buried yet still captivating. It’s also extremely catchy. A

Red Lips - Erm...Grungy
To this day I still don’t know whether I like this song or not, on one hand I feel it’s more style over substance but on the other hand I really like the hook. But one thing I’m sure of is that her Courtney Love-esque ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude is pretty damn cool. B-

Ghost - Nice but indulgent
With the exception of (Queen) Kacey Musgraves, I hate country music. Although this is more Alt-country, it’s still a bit bland. Perhaps if it was shorter or if it progressed a bit more it would’ve worked. Her vocal delivery is still very good none-the-less. C+

Everything Is Embarrassing - Excellent (obviously) 
FINALLY!!! The moment Sky fully came into her own and graduated from industry puppet to bonafide  pop-saviour. The production, the vocals, the chorus - it’s all just so right. This song well and truly saved her career and demonstrates the power of good pop. A+

She’s come a long way in her career, and we are now (finally) up to her debut album. This (like all of her releases) is a mixed bag, for the sake of time, here are the songs which stand out to me from Night Time, My Time:

Boys - Good
In many ways, Boys is the perfect opener; it’s smart, gritty, fun and full of energy. The chorus is brilliant and reminds you why you have stuck with her for so long. The only glitch is the line “Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye”, which makes me physically want to gouge my eyes out because of it’s corniness. Apart from that, this song is stellar. A

Omanko - Erm...
Another controversial one, it is the song on the album which has divided me the most; on one hand I applaud Sky’s risk taking, on the other hand I absolutely fucking hate it. The production is OK, the lyrics grate and the vocals are more breath than tone and at 4 minutes and 38 seconds, it overstays it’s welcome massively (it may have worked as a 1- 2 minute interlude of some kind). When the rest of the album is so good, this song seems really unnecessary. D+

I Will - Yes Yes Yes
Another stonker from Sky here, a Kaiser Chiefs recalling guitar intro and twinkling electronic flourishes make this song one of the album’s best. The highlight is her kick-ass attitude, the song is so brilliantly in-your-face that you can’t help but love it. She also sings the hell out of those hooks. A+

24 Hours - Immense
Finally, my favourite song of hers thus far. This song is like the musical equivalent of an 80’s Christmas special (mainly due to the bells). It’s blazing synth melody, explosive chorus and killer hooks bridge the gap between current and nostalgic perfectly. It even manages to pull of a fade-out which is nothing short of masterful. A+

And there you have it, my analysis of the mighty Sky Ferreira’s musical catalogue so far. Although I may seem a bit critical, I genuinely care about her more than most other artist, hence why I want her to fulfill her true potential. In my opinion, Night Time, My Time is just the start.

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