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Soda Fountain Rag

It's Rag Time!

(Yesboyicecream; US: 15 Apr 2008; UK: 14 Apr 2008)

Is this becoming a sudden, random subgenre? Single women armed with keyboards and keen avant-pop sensibilities suddenly going out and claiming 2008 as their own? It started off with Tickley Feather and is now moving on to Norway’s Soda Fountain Rag (aka Rahnhild Hogstad Jordahl). With her snappy debut album (barely crossing the half-hour mark), Jordahl has lo-fi programmed beats serve as the basis for her ever-so-simple synth pluckings. The problem? They’re too simple: this album pretends to have the secret spousal angst that belies every Mates of State recording, but the whole thing feels like forced digital sugar rush: an album for kids to dance around to while wearing off their sugar rushes. Though a majority of the songs are instantly forgettable, there are some genuinely fantastic tracks to be found, primarily with the sunny indie-pop of “Monkey Boy” and the juicy, ‘80s synth workout “The Saddest Boy Again”. Beyond that, however, there’s not a whole lot to recommend, making this subgenre feel like a passing fad more than anything else.

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Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and multiple national newspapers. Evan has been a guest on RevotTV's "Revolt Live!" as well as WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


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