Shopping – The Official Body
Shopping's third album teaches us that, even when we’re dealing with the imploding world around us, it’s still OK to dance
Shopping’s innate tendency to manifest their dissatisfaction with modern life and politics through musical optimism is a quality that’s made them one of the most vital bands on the UK’s DIY music scene. On The Official Body – Shopping’s third, and most powerful, record to date – the band sound noticeably more pissed off than ever: the grievances of Brexit and Trump inform the album’s narrative, but its main theme is the acceptance of ourselves in the face of adversity, the title itself being a play on the idea of the construct of a physical body that fits within the societal paradigm of what is 'normal' or 'accepted'.
Despite this being their most lyrically introspective record yet, their sound has subtly evolved via amping up the party vibe with the use of added synth and drum pads. Discover makes good use of the two, and verges on primitive New Order territory. Yet all the usual facets are present and correct, in particular Rachel Aggs’ unrivalled rhythmic urgency and, of course, those defining stop-start arrangements.
The juxtaposition between weighty lyrical themes and musical buoyancy is cathartic. Simultaneously of its time while managing to sound like a classic, The Official Body is a healing experience; there is light in the darkness. Shopping teach us that, even when we’re dealing with the imploding world around us, it’s still OK to dance.
Listen to: Discover, Wild Child