Album Review: Noga Erez - Off The Radar
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For an album that has, according to its artist, been developed across her whole life, Off The Radar also has a somewhat uncomfortable presience. The entirety of Off The Radar rides the thin line between lyrical anger directed at oblique subjects, and far flimsier attitudes towards frustratingly unclear subjects, with less bite behind Erez’s mocking bark. More often than not, we land on the former’s side, a testament to her frequently surprising production. The multi-tracked screams which open the album on ‘Balkada’ are a fake-out of choral elements on more conventional pop tracks. Here, what begins harmonically, drops in and out of tune, pitch skewing while the song’s layers build – the heavy bass of the synths and the sparse percussion create something ever darker and more unnerving than Erez’s humble, straightforward vocals do alone. This combination though, with the knowing lyrics of “It makes you horny, their widely open throats/Waiting to be fed with whatever you may serve”, is designed to confront, to box you in, and show you what you look like when you’re dancing. This is often Erez’ pursuit across the record – turning her own perspective back onto us: ‘Dance While You Shoot’ may be nominally about how Israel’s government mistreats and neglects its people, seemingly without a care, but it could equally be about asking Erez’s competition if they can make a point whilst provoking the more joyous limb-flailing required of pop-songs. All the rage builds in the bridge, with the clanging percussion reaching fever pitch, as if the song was recorded during a disruptive protest. It’s exhilarating, and thoughtful – the same can be said of the lean and uncannily eerie ‘Toy’, which seems to take the POV of a nameless leader, whose power was gained through nepotism and corruption.
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