It is ironic that Dragonette‘s released their third album, Bodyparts on the same day that No Doubt released their big comeback album, because the two group’s have made essentially the same album. Both have crafted an album that mixes 1980s synth-pop with elements of modern rock and EDM but one of the bands does it much more successfully than another.
Sadly, it is No Doubt that has won the battle of the female-fronted bands. It is easy to give them the edge because they are seasoned veterans who have been carefully crafting pop songs for two decades but No Doubt’s real advantage was creating lyrics that were simply blander than Dragonette. While No Doubt tries to write emotive pop songs that offend no one, Dragonette are too clever for their own good. They attempt to write everyman party anthems that usually end up as cringe-worthy lyrical outings.
Take “My Work Is Done” for example. The song sounds like a electro-pop version of Gary Glitter‘s “Rock ‘n’ Roll, Part 2;” it is anthematic and can easily be fist-pumped to. It sounds like a great start but then then the lyrics start. Lead singer, Martina Sorbara sings “I wanna work/work makes me lazy/like stuff I gotta do just for fun/I don’t wanna work/just give me the money as if I had a gun on me.” Very rarely have good lyrics included the word “stuff” in them and this track is no different.
Similarly, “My Legs” sounds like a modern electro banger, distrorted synths over a thumping four-on-the-floor beat. Then Martina sings “Can’t stop my legs, my legs go out late dancing/I try to wash my face but my lips put on makeup/can’t stay home cause my body got itself all dressed up/I’m the one who pays for it tomorrow when I wake up.” I understand this is a popular sentiment of “party now, pay for it later” (or “YOLO” if you’re a douchebag) but it is done so hamhandedly that it is hard to enjoy the song.
Bodyparts, as a whole, is hard to enjoy. The lyrics are so glaringly bad that the good pop songs on the album feel more like a relief than a joy.
MP3: Dragonette “My Work Is Done”