Sky Ferreira was born in 1992. That’s the same year Dr. Dre released The Chronic and Alice in Chains released Dirt. Neither of those album’s influence Night Time, My Time. Instead Ferreira’s obvious influences seem to be Cyndi Lauper or 80s Madonna.
One listen to Night Time, My Time‘s lead single “You’re Not the One” confirms this. Sky’s soaring vocals on the chorus rings of Lauper singing “that’s all they really waaaaaaaant” on “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” But while the melody and pop sensibility might be 80s-centric, the instrumental is a little more complex. Beginning with lo-fi drums then quickly accompanied by indie guitars, the track could easily be a Dum Dum Girls tune before Ferreira’s powerful vocals take hold.
The 80s pop love continues with tracks like “24 Hours” which sounds like the perfect follow up single for Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now.” Opening with music box synths similar to Madonna’s “Open Your Heart to Me” over a pretty typical pop drums. Sky adds her lyrics about spending 24 hours with the one she loves, not exactly groundbreaking lyrical content.
For the most part, Ferreira’s lyrical content is the weakest point of the album. Typical subject matters like finding a guy who restores your faith in men (album opener, “Boys”) to unrequited love (penultimate song, “In Love in Stereo”). When Ferreira does break away from these trite subjects, it seems to be in odd places. “Omanka” may hold a record for how many times the phrase “Japanese Jesus” has been uttered in a song. The idea of the song is that Ferreira is excited for Japanese Christmas and who wouldn’t be.
The least trite of the songs and the most meaningful seems to be “I Blame Myself.” Post-drug arrest and partying controversies, Ferreira sings about people meeting her with preconceived notions of who she is. On “I Blame Myself,” she owns up to the fact that the stigma is self inflicted. It is the only song on the album that shows a true depth of subject matter.
With that said, Night Time, My Time is not meant to be a meditative experience. It is a pop album. And judging it by that criteria, Sky Ferreira does one hell of a job making esoteric pop that is more acceptable to the hipster kids than ironically embracing Taylor Swift.