Review: Shopping – All or Nothing
National Music Reviews
All or Nothing
Shopping = Talking Heads + Gang of Four
Shopping kickstarted their discography with their first album, Consumer Complaints in 2013, followed by Why Choose in 2015 and The Official Body in 2018–all recorded while they were based together in London. Now split across the globe, with two out of three of the members Rachel Aggs (guitarist) and Andrew Milk (drummer) kicking around in Glasgow and Billy Easter (bassist) now living in Los Angeles, the group didn’t leave consumers waiting too long for their next album, All or Nothing, released in February of this year.
All or Nothing is a 10-track burst of energy that comes and goes like a late-’80s heist movie speeding car chase down an empty water canal. Specific, I know—though their Gang of Four reminiscent bass lines and David Byrne–reminiscent vocal energy really brings you to a different place. For me, in this case, it’s a movie plot. The track lengths remain at three minutes or less and, when paired with Shopping’s penchant for a high-energy songwriting formula, it takes a second listen to fully take the album in.
What stands out for me this time around are songs such as “Initiative,” which introduces a new element to Shoppings’ sound: creeping synths with a post-punk/goth haze during the chorus. The empowering “For Your Pleasure” serves as an anthem for autonomy and reclaiming of one’s power with the lyrics, “I am light / As a feather / This world’s made / For my pleasure / And I welcome / The feeling.” The chorus brings in a dance beat and patches of breakdowns through the keyboards, a treat for the long-time listener.
One thing about Shopping that has kept me a loyal customer is the consistency throughout their four albums. The frantic yet grounded dance-punk beats, foundational jazz bass lines, call-back vocals and melodic guitar swells have stayed on-brand for Shopping these last seven years, keeping the experience—albeit predictable—always a good time. With Shopping, at least for me, their overarching sound is what brought me in, but their political, anti-consumerism, progressive lyrics filtered through a queer lens is what keeps me championing the three-piece long after the music stops playing. –Bianca Velasquez
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