Initially walking into music as the lead singer of theaudience, Bextor's glassy vocals added a sense of model poise to their Brit-rock formula. Disappointingly, theaudience dissolved and Bextor later found her footing by providing vocals to DJ Spiller's "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" in the summer of 2000. The song is now a modern U.K. pop classic. Read My Lips (2002), Shoot From the Hip (2003), and Trip the Light Fantastic (2007) have done well in Bextor's native United Kingdom. The point of this piece is to share with you what it is about Sophie Ellis-Bextor's pop that makes it addictive.
The Blend's Favorite SEB single
"Me & My Imagination" (from Trip the Light Fantastic, 2007)
Both patience and excitement are conveyed on "Me & My Imagination." A sing-song melodic line bubbled to the top of the song before it spilled into Bextor's lyric of love for romantic mystery. Amid rushing strings and synths, Bextor guided her cool vocal with care. Catchy, bright, and pretty, it was Bextor at her best.
The Blend's Favorite SEB Album
"Shoot From the Hip," 2003
Of the three albums, her second is my personal favorite. Shoot From the Hip captured the perfection of pop experimentation. No musical wall kept her from trying different sounds: neo-disco, acoustic, electro, etc. Bextor's cerebral reading shone on the hidden track, a cover of Olivia Newton-John's "Physical." Not disposing of its sexual disposition, Bextor worked it from a different perspective.
If her vocal approach was high concept, her words grounded it in clever anecdotes.
The Blend's Favorite SEB Music Video
"Mixed Up World" (from Shoot From the Hip, 2003)
Directed By: Rupert Jones
The Jones directed video captured the retro '80's vibe of the music. An interesting amalgam of visuals and scene splicing, it featured a (then) blond Bextor. I liked the video due to its fashionable, but slightly weird, and simplistic stance. Plus, while Bextor was always better with her raven tresses, she rocked the blond hair hard at this time.
I knew Sophie Ellis-Bextor by her reputation as a fan of upscale British pop, but heard/saw her two summer's ago via Youtube. I quickly ordered both Read My Lips and Shoot From the Hip and fell madly in love with her. Last year, she released her third album Trip the Light Fantastic and is currently working on her fourth LP due out later this year. Unlike the overrated Amy Winehouse and Duffy, Bextor is something worth exporting to the States from England. Either way, you've all just met Mademoiselle Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Make the most of it.-QH
[Editor's Note: For more information on Sophie Ellis-Bextor, visit: www.sophieellisbextor.net.-QH]