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.