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Chop Chop

The Spark

(Archenemy; US: 26 Apr 2011; UK: 26 Apr 2011)

Catherine Cavanagh is the singer/songwriter who records under the name Chop Chop. The Spark is her third album. Like the first two, it offers haphazard, demo-quality, occasionally melodic indie synth-pop with Cavanagh’s anesthetized cooing over the top.


The Spark adds a new twist, though. It’s a concept album about a 17-year-old girl who is abducted by aliens and falls in love with the space captain who eventually rescues her (whoops—spoiler alert). While the concept might’ve been charming in a retro way, the execution is undone by all too forgettable songs and shoddy production values.


With the help of bassist Jason Tajima, “Carolyn Goes Home” and “Revelation” do emit something resembling a melancholic, early New Order vibe, but that’s not enough to save an album that would probably have best been left in the bedroom studio.

Rating:

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


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