Articles & reviews

Words about "Somewhere Else"
Words about "Sundown"
Words about "Starman"
Words about "What Can I Do"
Words about "My Guilty Pleasure"
Words about "Miracle"
Words about "Disco Romance"
Words about "Remix Romance"
Words about "He keeps me alive"
Words about "Jackie Jackie"
Words about "Anorak Christmas" and "I know"
Words about "I'll be by your side"
Original forum comments on "I'll be by your side"
Interviews & articles

Words about "Somewhere Else"

Rating: 4/5
"Her sighing vocals and his gleaming synths have been bolstered by a tad more thump and funk this time round...lovely"
The Independent (UK)

Rating: 4/5
"Synths twinkle like slowly spinning disco balls...Shapiro's vocal, filtered in such a way that it recalls a refracted sunbeam, caps off the dream. When she coos in her upper register...the effect is nearly magical."
MSN Music (US)

Rating: 5/5
"Somewhere Else is their hotly-anticipated third album - and it's a cracker… Indeed, it's difficult not to form a crush on Sally and her angelic vocals while listening to Somewhere Else. The duo continue to conjure euro-pop gems throughout the album, each one wrapped in funky synths, fat bass lines and cool beats. Electro at its best!"
Daily Sport (UK)

Rating: 4/5
"With the improvements, revamps, and overall more interesting arrangements, Somewhere Else manages to be the equal of Disco Romance"
AllMusic (US)

Rating: 80/100
"With wispy techno beats leading the way, Somewhere Else, the Swedish duo’s (Shapiro and Johan Agebjörn) third studio album, is a journey to a distant land—a heaven of music for anime characters hosting raves on clouds with rainbows for dance floors."
Filter (US)

Rating: 4/5
"Somewhere Else is as charming and featherlight as the rest of their discography, but shows growth in all the right places: New collaborations, new sounds, same feeling."
Idolator (US)

Rating: 7.5/10
"Building on the foundations of the duo’s previous Italo-disco homages, the mysterious Swedes are back, blurring the line between that genre and its close relative, Hi-NRG, to winning effect... Somewhere Else makes for an invaluable addition to any self-respecting pop-loving household."
The Line of Best Fit (UK)

Rating: 4/5
"There are no misses here...if Somewhere Else doesn't blow your leg warmers off, nothing will."
Bust Magazine (US)

Rating: 7.3/10
"In Somewhere Else, Sally Shapiro dip from toe to calf in new soundscapes and are enlivened by the feel."
Paste Magazine (US)

Rating: 4/5
"The vocals are delicate and gorgeous as ever, and the music really comes to life, peaking on gripping, sensual “I Dream With an Angel Tonight”; the breezy but sad “What Can I Do”; the intergalactic longing and weirdness of “Starman”; and breathy “Lives Together.” This is her, um, their best album to date."
Tribune (US)

"Duon fortsätter imponera... Det är mjuk, drömsk pop där Shapiros naivt neonrosa sång flyter ovanpå Johan Agebjörns försiktigt ambienta discobeats."
Expressen (SE)

"Sally Shapiro är helt klart värd ett stort genombrott utanför dansgolven också."
TT Spektra (SE)

"Han er glad i italodisco, hun er glad i søt popmusikk, og de lager en lett blanding av begge deler på den nye plate Somewhere Else som kom i slutten av februar. Innimellom fyller Sally Shapiro hullet som The Cardigans etterlot seg, og det skal en være takknemlig for."
P3 (NO)

Words about "Sundown"

"On "Sundown", one of the finest tracks from her new record Somewhere Else, Shapiro and her collaborators showcase newfound artistic breadth by taking familiar sounds and textures, subjecting them to a subtle reconfiguration. Johan Agebjörn and Roger Gunnarsson take a handful of Italo disco trademarks-- glossy synths, airtight electronic percussion, garish, sparkly effects-- and apply them to a slow-paced ballad where Shapiro delivers a dreamy, fragile vocal performance. The final touch is a sublime sax solo reminiscent of Destroyer's magnificently louche Kaputt, and the result is bluish, bruised-heart pop that lingers long after it's finished."
Pitchfork (US)

"Sundown, which was produced by Johan Agebjörn is an energetic ballad that Shapiro adorably coos all over...racked with the sweetness you come to expect from Shapiro"
Stereogum (US)

"Great work as always. I love the track."
Johnny Jewel (Chromatics, Glass Candy)

Words about "Starman"

"Swedish synth-pop princess Sally Shapiro has shared another gorgeous track with us. The second single from her upcoming album Somewhere Else is called "Starman" which features Canadian pop duo Electric Youth.  Together they’ve created a wonderful bubbling indie pop track featuring Sally Shapiro’s trademark disco likings and whimsical vocals."
Prefix Magazine (US)

"Mixing ultra-girly harmonies reminicent of a Molly Ringwald movie with a dose of trippy new-age synth, Shapiro’s music is our go-to when needing to blow off steam and dance around our bedroom. Download our premiere of the radio edit for her latest single “Starman” feat. Electric Youth above and just try to stay seated…"
Nylon Magazine (US)

"The song is an electronic triggered jaunt down the disco. Purposefully detached vocals somehow enforce an overwhelming warmth into the song, and you’re left with the comforting feeling that you’ll never dance alone again. How does she do it? How?!"
Scandipop (UK)

"Starman is a particularly deep and dreamy slick of these guys ScandiPop. Sally is at her hushed-Saint-Etienne best, and being backed by the vintage tones of Electric Youth’s Bronwyn, cast a beautiful vocal net. A totally compelling voice in electronic music, Sally has found the perfect music partner in Johan, who knows exactly how to deliver sweeping, passionate synth music, with a subtle 60s twist, that suits her just right. Cannot wait for the album."
Electronic Rumours (UK)

"Evidently both duos’ styles were synth made for each other and this is quite the reason why the track can elevate itself to such a level of accomplished sophistication."
EQ Music Blog (UK)

"Starman may or may not be a Swedish nod to John Carpenter's movie of the same name, but in any case, it's lovely, fun, and possibly the best song on the album."
Bust Magazine (US)

Words about "What Can I Do"

"From working with labels such as Diskokaine through Permanent Vacation, and alongside artists such as Italo disco legend Fred Ventura and 'chillwaver' CFCF, Shapiro has become the figurehead for the dreamy, spirited pop/indie-disco sound. Her latest for Paper Bag (who initially released a collaboration with CFCF) is a chirpy indie-disco number that takes a cue from vintage 4AD (Cocteau Twins) mixed with just an oversweet touch of '80s Euro-pop; and the result is nothing short of lovely."
DJ Magazine (UK)

"Achingly sweet and earnest"
Stereogum (US)

"Taking on elements of indie pop and mixing wispy vocals with light-as-helium synths and even a flute solo, "What Can I Do" feels as inconsequential as a day in the park. It's the sort of track you'll want to play again as soon as it's over, for fear that it might just float away forever."
Refinery 29 (US)

"Bedded with newly warmed synth tones and shimmering guitars, "What Can I Do" offers a tender take on acoustic pop that eschews the expected electro backdrop. Still, the pair haven't forgotten their roots: As Shapiro's vocals rise to the puppy-soft chorus, she's backed by syncopated disco drums. And you know what it sounds like? Only the best pajama dance party ever!"
MTV Buzzworthy (US)

Words about "My Guilty Pleasure"

"Extraordinary...one of 2009's best"
Popjustice (UK)

Rating: 8/10
"How could anyone not like Sally Shapiro? That would be like not liking puppies or sunny days. My Guilty Pleasure is the second full-length from the Swedish disco darling, and it's another collection of sugary-sweet synth-disco tunes. ... That Sally Shapiro is just so damn... adorable."
XLR8R (US)

Rating: 8/10
"My Guilty Pleasure is certainly an improvement on Shapiro's debut, Disco Romance. As strong an album as that was, My Guilty Pleasure is more cohesive, its production more varied, its songwriting more effective."
Prefix Magazine (US)

Rating: 8/10
"This second full-length from Sally and producer Johan expands on their sound with forays into piano house and silky electro-pop but still retains their smoothly Italo-pop signature, and is just as consistent in quality as the first record."
Vice (UK)

Rating: 8/10
"Agebjörn and Shapiro have crafted something that over repeated plays seems more fully realised (and therefore more enjoyable) than Disco Romance ... the thought and loving detail that Agebjörn has put into his arrangements consistently repays close attention.
Combine that with some pop tunes the proverbial milkman could whistle (stand up ‘Save your love’) and a cover of Nicolas Makelberge’s thought-provoking ballad ‘Dying in Africa’ and you have a pleasure well worth the guilt."
Fact Magazine (UK)

Rating: 7/10
"It's clear that Agebjörn and his muse hav hit upon something good. Hopefully their partnership will be longlived."
Under the Radar (Summer 2009) (US)

"For lovers of synth-pop perfection, Sally Shapiro's My Guilty Pleasure will certainly woo you."
Bust Magazine (US) (Aug/Sep 2009)

"If shiny, happy dance music is your thing, then this critically acclaimed Swedish artist's sophomore album is for you."
Curve (US) (Dec 2009)

"...it is everything you would hope for"
20 JazzFunkGreats (UK)

"The beauty of Shapiro is that she can take these almost heartbreaking tracks and make them sound beautifully full of hope."
Quarterlifeparty (US)

Rating: 4/5
"Sally Shapiro's too adorable to slur for the immediacy of its charms."
Resident Advisor (UK)

Rating: 4/5
"Whoever she is, she produces the most perfect post- Italo chill-out and dreamy electronic paeans to lost summer loves. Nostalgia never sounded so relevant."
The London Paper (UK)

Rating: 4/5
"Sally Shapiro are becoming rather expert at constructing appealing reinterpretations of the origins of the genre. In the remarkably and justifiably confident My Guilty Pleasure, Agebjörn has produced another record that contributes beautifully to a still-growing scene."
Wears the Trousers (UK)

Rating: 8.5/10
"...a dizzying cross-section of stylish retro synths and hypnotic vocal coos, lulling you into a vast, obtuse plane of unrequited longing and frigid, Nordic nights in need of warm bodies."
Montreal Mirror (CA)

"My Guilty Pleasure" avoids the sophomore slump and puts Sally Shapiro on the path to synth-pop stardom."
BlogCritics (US)

Rating: 4/5
"Sentimentality coated in glitter disco dust, but with an emotional fragility beneath that turns it into more than just sugary electro delight"
Baeble (US)

"The record matches up beautifully with her last record and her producing partner Johan Agebjörn has certainly stepped up the production on this one. Basically if you loved the last record, or if you love dance music, you will probably fall madly in love with this as well."
Pop Tarts Suck Toasted (US)

"...a decadently simple album that grows more and more complex with every listen. My Guilty Pleasure stands out as one of the better electronic albums of the year to date, even if fellow Swedes Röyksopp, Fever Ray and Annie all have something to say about that."
Phoenix New Times (US)

"I’m enjoying her second album, My Guilty Pleasure, so much more than I did her first...the entire Sally Shapiro project has blossomed into an intriguing, grin-inducing half-hour collection of wintery shy-girl dance jams. She’s never been the girl you brought to the party, but now she’s definitely the one you want to leave with."
Resonator Magazine (US)

Rating: 3.5/5
"Shapiro's musical territory is one in which you'd happily reside for a long, long time. That's because her songs occupy that sweet spot where melancholia meets euphoria: the words may speak of sadness, but the music shows a bloody-minded willingness to go out and have a good time."
MusicOMH (UK)

Rating: 3/5
"...a polished synthesis of Balearic beats and feathery harmonies, with the blissful efferversvence of Looking At The Stars and Let It Show's jellike melody reclling the best moments of fellow Scandinavian Annie."
Q Magazine (UK)

"'My Guilty Pleasure' doesn't have to blush about being guilty, all emotions here are pure and honest."
Tillate (UK)

"Songs, richtig echte und gute"
Groove (DE)

"...ett utsökt alster; melodiskt skimrande, sprittande dansat, sött och välsmakande som en paraplydrink under valfri sommarmåne."
Sonic (SE)

Rating: 4/5
"Debutplattan "Disco romance" nådde kultstatus i electronikavärlden härom året och på nya plattan "My guilty pleasure" tar de ännu ett jättekliv framåt. Producenten Johan Agebjörn har en jättestor godispåse med 80-talssyntar han hämningslöst hetsäter ur och Sally själv pratsjunger över de ambienta tonerna med en lika stor självsäkerhet som det engelska uttalet är dåligt.
Det har pratats mycket om de starka brittiska syntartisterna i sommar; med Little Boots och La Roux i spetsen. Det här är en bättre platta."
TT Spektra (SE)

Rating: 7/10
"Johan Agebjörn rattar fram en tight och stilsäkert beat och Sallys väna sång ligger långt i ljudbilden och smeker öronen."
Zero Magazine (SE)

Rating: 3/5
"Sympatiskt nog gör de en cover på Nicolas Makelberges "Dying In Africa" men det är knappast enda skälet till att gilla producenten Johan Agebjörn och hemlighetsfulla sångerskan Sally Shapiro som ibland pratsjunger med samma alldagliga tonfall som Agnetha Fältskog i sena Abba-singeln "The Day Before You Came"."
Sydsvenskan (SE)

"Producenten Johan Agebjörn och låtskrivaren Roger Gunnarsson har skapat en sagovärld åt Sally Shapiro att bosätta sig i. Jag älskar också att Sally Shapiro gör en cover på 00-talets bästa och mest underskattade svenska låt, Nicolas Makelberges Dying in Africa."
Svenska Dagbladet "Bäst i genren" (SE)

Words about "Miracle"

"Love it. This song is gorgeous."
Johnny Jewel (Glass Candy/Italians Do It Better US)

"I love it"
Felix da Housecat (UK)

"Sounds great! Loving the Bogdan Irkük remix. Proper trancey summer pop, and of course meant in the best way possible."
Prins Thomas (NO)

"What a way to come back...beautiful"
Under The Radar (USA)

"Song of the day"
Popjustice (UK)

"Perfect pop music"
20 JFG (UK)

"In a word: Amazing."
Pop That Rocks (USA)

"Wonderful new single"
Disco Dust (DE)

"A piece of pretty damn amazing italodisco"
Discobelle (SE)

"I'm loving this"
Hard Candy (USA)

"Effing masterpiece"
Buzzine (USA)

"Awesome...I’ve had the song on repeat for the last 40 or so minutes"
La Cinta (Can)

"As melodically lovely as anything on the
debut...fantastically catchy chorus"
Wears The Trousers (USA)

"This time around there’s a little more Pet Shop Boys-esque moodiness and a little less Italo cheesiness, but it’s still pretty great, especially the epic keyboard break toward the end."
Vice (USA) 9/10

"Innocent wonder...elegant electronic longing"
Pitchfork (USA) 7/10

"I love it"
Rob da Bank, BBC Radio 1 (UK)

"Potential summer hit"
Radio Nova (NO)

"Highly recommended!"
Boomkat (UK)

Words about "Disco Romance"

Rating: 5 of 5
"Pop music has seldom sounded so perfect."
Glamcult Dec 2006 (NL)

Rating: 5 of 5
"It's a fact that Agebjörn's synth compositions are compelling enough on their own without the Swedish chanteuse (especially the Orb-like Sleep in My Arms - the only non-vocal track on the album), but truly it's Shapiro's graceful, nearly effortless-sounding vocals that make the record heaven worthy. Her honeysuckle voice is a testament to the fact that dance music can be made without pulverizing the listeners' ears with operatic assaults."
Hour (Canada)

Rating: 4.5 of 5
"...this album pulls out all the right tricks to faithfully evoke Italo at its best -- vocoded vocals, spacey synth washes, squelchy electronic squiggles, octave-jumping ostinato basslines -- while also incorporating just enough variety in tempo and rhythm to avoid the genre's propensity for monotonous excess."
Allmusic (USA)

Rating: 8.5 of 10
"Songwriter/producer Johan Agebjörn and his publicity-shy Swedish muse resurrect Italo disco as a vehicle for deeply nostalgic and sorrowful Swedish indie pop, resulting in a eloquent, auspicious debut album. Agebjörn's tracks build gradually, drop melodies that could melt whatever global warming leaves behind, and then hold on for dear life, while vocalist Sally Shapiro's guileless vocals put an angelic face on her producer's melancholy."
Marc Hogan, Pitchfork Media (USA)

Rating: 9 of 10
"Smoochy Swedish synth-pop starring Sally Shapiro, a butter face who’s always falling in love or breaking up with that special guy and isn’t afraid to sing about it. The music is this bittersweet electronic disco designed for fans of Alden Tyrell and Valerie Dore. For the girls, it’s Gwen Stefani’s “Cool” swaddled in the softest reindeer fur."
Vice (UK) (IT)

"The best Eurodisco is cotton candy for the ears, a sugar rush of sparkling synths, hypnobeat and delicate melody. This Swedish production hooks you before the vocals even start."
USA Today (print, Sep 25th 2007) (USA)

"Ear candy, ethereal, featherweight dance pop"
USA Today (web) (USA)

"Anyone wondering what the heck happened to fellow Scandinavian electro-pop siren Annie can nuzzle up to Agebjörn's sparkling synthesizers and Shapiro's tales of lonely nights ice skating. "Romance" is nuanced enough to lend mystery to the image of a button-nosed Swede singing about her anorak."
Los Angeles Times (USA)

"While Shapiro's shy, adolescent coo and wounded heart are key - she supposedly demands solitude in the studio when laying down vocals - producer Johan Agebjörn's indulgent tracks make the record. His songs are a hazy, neon-colored synth-pop dream, keytar solos mixed with the cheesiest of escapist, electro-fueled '80s film soundtracks."
XLR8R (USA)

Rating: 4 of 5
"She doesn't perform, give in-person interviews, or reveal her real name. Instead, she offers a love that can burn away the darkness of a lonely heart. (...) Swedish producer Johan Agebjörn re-creates his childhood's soundtrack with uncanny precision, nailing not just the proper drum sounds, but also fluttering keyboard harmonies that weep with wintry joy."
Spin (USA)

Rating: 4 of 5
"Recording under a pseudonym, she comes across almost as too perfect in these songs, closer to a male fantasy than a flesh-and-blood woman. Nevertheless, Agebjörn’s imaginative disco production makes an ideal backdrop for Shapiro’s introverted vocals, which infuse Disco Romance with the artist’s distinct personality."
Paste (USA)

"Disc of the week"
Fashion Magazine (USA)

"...incredibly enjoyable, overflowing with infectious melodies and dance interludes."
Bust Dec 07 (USA)

"The former blog favourite Annie has a worthy successor."
Der Spiegel web (DE)

"The entertaining debut of this young Swede could have been created 20 years ago in Rimini."
Der Spiegel print version (DE)

"Those who admired Princess Stéphanie in the 80s will love Sally Shapiro. Her sweet electro-pop is charming"
Die Zeit (DE)

Rating: B+
"I am struck by its overload of synth glimmers and the pleasantly garish accessorizing of their singer. Quietly these features perform alongside and apart from Sally Shapiro’s vocals, making a fine backdrop to the wide-open time constraints of the crisp winter holidays."
Liz Colville, Stylus Magazine (USA)

"Even though it has one of the tag's two words in its title, I'm not sure this shy singer's gorgeous album qualifies as space disco. It could just as easily be deemed classic synth pop, with an emphasis on classic — which means something, considering how synthy and poppy it is from start to finish. Fans of St. Etienne and Annie should run out and buy it before they've finished reading this sentence. Everyone else should give one listen to writer-producer Johan Agebjörn's "I Know" and see if it's possible to resist the song's charms, which are as immense as Shapiro's voice is petite. Early contender for album of the year."
San Fransisco Bay Guardian (USA)

"One of my favourite records of last year finally gets a UK release. Sweden’s impossibly shy Sally Shapiro takes all the sex and fever out of the Italo-Disco sound and replaces it with sugary innocence: in the feyness stakes, Disco Romance leaves even the collected works of Belle & Sebastian trailing far, far behind (she even has a song called ‘Anorak Christmas’!). Which might all sound nauseating, but this really isn’t; it’s just lovely."
Fact Magazine (UK)

Rating: 8.0 of 10
"As the songwriter and producer, as well as a self-proclaimed Italo disco aficionado, Agebjorn certainly knows how to write an infectiously subtle hook. Shapiro, for her part, follows nicely, filling the melodic turns with her enchanting coos."
Prefix (USA)

Rating: 7 of 10
"... her haunting vocals float beautifully over the shiny synths and pulsating ital disco. 2006’s trailblazer ‘I’ll be by your side’ is present in its full glory, whilst there’s plenty more moments where dance floor abandon meets bubblegum beauty. As a lighter tonic to the roughness this summer, Shapiro is definitely something to make the breeze all the more gentle."
Plastic Soup (UK)

Rating: 7 of 10
"Unlike the vast majority of dance vocalists, there’s no hint of sexuality in her voice at all.  But her delicate beauty’s more than enough."
PopMatters (USA)

"Shapiro's debut LP could be the soundtrack to an '80s prom or Flashdance sequel. Based on sparkling synthesizers and thin 808 beats, it comes to life with the addition of Shapiro's candescent whispers and croons."
Spin.com "Artist of the day" (USA)

Rating: 5 of 5
"Il risultato è talmente imbarazzante che non si può che amarlo al primo ascolto."
popUp (Italy)

Rating: 11 of 12
TVNET (Latvia)

Rating: 8 of 10
"Der Missing Link zwischen Sandra-Comeback und Valerie Dore-Karaoke-Absturz."
Vice (DE)

"...so elegant schmachtend sangen die Mütter und Väter von 'Disco Romance' vor 25 Jahren niemals!"
Spex (DE)

"Frankly this album is a delight to the ears.  The title could not have been more fitting.  A 'Disco Romance' is exactly what you get.  A fleeting glimpse into the minds of these two Swedish musicians is like a summer love that should have lasted all year.  So go out and buy it now.  Put it on your I Pod or MP3 or any fandangled machine you have.  Stick your oversized headphones on, go for a long walk down by the sea and grin from can to can."
Subba-Cultcha (UK)

"Disco Romance is one of those rare records that reveals all of its charms on the first listen and forces you to keep returning to it. Shapiro and Agebjorn know full well that sadness is part of pop's spectrum too, and their first record dresses that melancholy in its best Saturday night outfit and then happily doesn't even leave the house. It's a new kind of escape and pleasure that's likely remain unique in both dance and pop music for a long time."
GBH (USA)

"... an infectious, catchy and clever album."
Igloo Magazine (USA)

"I was ridiculously amped for the album to finally emerge, and now I have my copy. (...) And I love it."
Tom Breihan, The Village Voice (USA)

"Wondrous"
Simon Reynolds (UK)

"The album requires careful repetitive listening, without doing so you’ll think the album is one prolonged song, with one idea. It’s the subtle differences between tracks, the detailed production and the tiniest twinkling decorations that make this more than an Annie clone. I’m pretty sure Disco Romance will be one of my favourites of 2007."
Ninthspace

"Sveriges svar på norska Annie med låtar så somriga att de i en rättvis värld hade blivit årets semesterplågor."
Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)

Rating: 4 of 5
"För produktionen står Johan Agebjörn, vars grymt tajta och stilrena rytmer och arrangemang utgör en perfekt grund för Sallys ljusa, klara, veka röst i höga tonlägen. Hon jämförs med allt från Kylie till norska Annie, men det här är både enklare och mer nostaligiskt, och väldigt svårt att motstå."

Göteborgs-Posten (Sweden)

Rating: 4 of 5
"'Disco Romance' är släppt på ett litet österrikiskt bolag men det är värt besväret att leta upp den. Svenska Sally Shapiro gör klassisk italodisco och om man inte varit uppslukad av den ljuva sången och pulserande vemodet i synslingorna hade man nog undrat hur en skiva så här fastnaglad i 80-talet kan låta så fräsch och aktuell."
Sydsvenskan (Sweden)

Rating: 7 of 10
Sonic Magazine (Sweden)

"Johan och Sally trär dansanta electroniska poppärlor på ett strå."
Digfi (Sweden)

"Det är soft och drömskt med en oslipad demokänsla som känns igen från indiegrejer som Hello Saferide och Firefox AK.
Och Anorak christmas är decembers hittills bästa jullåt."
Expressen (Sweden)

"För den som trodde att italodiskon dött ut och glömts bort kan jag avslöja att så inte är fallet. Den lever och har hälsan, och kanske är det denna skiva som kommer att återföra den till våra medvetanden. Det är mycket uppiggande att någon törs göra en sån här skiva i dagens läge. Visserligen blåser det gynnsamma 80-talsvindar i musikklimatet, men somliga sound känns mer givna att komma tillbaka än andra. Hjärnan bakom verket, producenten och låtskrivaren Johan Agebjörn, gjorde nog precis srätt när han gav sig ut på tämligen oprövad mark."
Groove 10/2006 (Sweden)

Rating: 5 of 6
"Riktignok er den navnløse vokalisten visstnok fryktelig sjenert. Ideen bak den svale, tilbakeholdne og melankolske kvinnestemmen – i kombinasjon med produsent Johan Agebjörns iselektroniske rytmer – er likevel at anonymiteten skal komme fantasien til gode."
Dagbladet (Norway)

Rating: 5 of 6
"Det gik sikkert manges næse forbi, men en af 2006s allerbedste udgivelser kom fra en hemmelig svensker, der kalder sig Sally Shapiro. (...) I en perfekt verden ville Disco Romance afføde ni klokkeklare Melodi Grand Prix-vindere og være soundtracket til såvel det første kys som afskedsbrevet."
Undertoner (Denmark)

"Und wer da gleich “Kitsch” schreit verpasst ein tolles Album. Neben dem Hit "I'll Be By Your Side" sind vor allem "Find My Soul" im Norwegian Electrojazz Mix hervorzuheben, welches so auch aus der Feder von Ed DMX stammen könnte. "Sleep In My Arms” ist zum Träumen schön. Und der CD-Bonustrack, der Rude 66 808 Remix von "I'll Be By Your Side” lässt uns auch noch im Schlaf weitertanzen."
Groove (DE)

"#32 album of 2007"
Pitchfork Media (USA)

"#55 album of 2007"
Boomkat (UK)

Words about "Remix Romance"

Rating: 7.6 of 10
"Remix Romance Vol. 1 is an accomplished, occasionally revelatory recasting of Disco Romance's synth-pop by some of contemporary electronic music's most capable hands. (...) Remix Romance Vol. 1 reaffirms that Shapiro's music is the type you can live with day in and day out. You know, a lasting romance."
Pitchfork Media (USA) [about vol. 1]

"Usually this kind of affair is a pointless collection of insensitively mauled and maculate travesties, but this is a rare case of the complete opposite, maybe because the melodies and vocals are so untarnishably perfect they couldn't be ruined, or more likely they inspired love and respect and tender care on the part of those entrusted with reinterpreting them."
Simon Reynolds (UK) [about vol. 1]

"Remix albums have a bad reputation for being uneven, uninspired and, really, just plain bad. However, there are always exceptions, Sally Shapiro’s Remix Romance Vol. 1 being one of them. (...) With all the pluses and few if any, minuses, ten mixes for cash these are not."
Exclaim (CAN) [about vol. 1]

"This is a remix album artists dream about. That other musicians love your music enough to transform it into something (at times) better than the original is very beautiful."
Chartattack (CAN) [about vol. 1]

"With skilled remixers like Junior Boys, Juan MacLean and Lindstrøm (to name a few), this project is not just a fast move in order to cash in on the success of the original album—no. The songs are polished, many of them given either a more direct dance drive (Skatebårds remix of “He Keeps Me Alive”), or have an added electronic depth (like Dntel’s remix of “Find My Soul”)—all the while remaining faithful to the original tunes."
BPM Magazine (USA) [about vol. 1 & vol. 2]

Rating: 8 of 10
"MacLean’s clubby house vibes, Holy Fuck’s ethereal manoeuvres, Woodhands’ drop-dead funky pitter-patter and Lindstrøm’s epic chemical come-on enhance and amplify some fine source material, Scandinavian melancholy for the dancefloor."
Montreal Mirror (CAN) [about vol. 1]

Rating: 8.6 of 10
"...both [vol. 1 and vol. 2] represent a competent take on the remix concept and are full of interesting artists, good songs, and the occasional pleasant surprise. Sally Shapiro gets my vote for this years "Tastemaker of the Year Award." "
Lost at Sea (USA) [about vol. 1 & 2]

Rating: 3.5 of 5
"...for a remix album it delivers impressively, both in terms of track-for-track hit rate and overall listenability. Considering its welcome but not gratuitously overabundant variety, it's just possible that some listeners will find themselves preferring this version of Romance."
AllMusicGuide (USA) [about vol. 1]

Rating: 4 of 6
"Among the many standouts: Holy Fuck’s gorgeous dream-pop version of “Find My Soul” and the SSL take on “I Know,” which sounds more like classic Pet Shop Boys than the boys themselves."
Time Out New York (USA) [about vol. 1]

Rating: 3.5 of 4
Musikexpress (Germany) [about vol. 1]

Rating: 6.4 of 10
"Remix Romance Vol 2. sounds less like a case of striking while the fire is hot than a breath of fresh air."
Pitchfork Media (USA) [about vol. 2]

Words about "He keeps me alive"

Rating: 5 of 5
"...I love it, and would heartily recommend this hefty double-pack ... shimmering ... mesmerising"
International DJ Magazine (UK)

Rating: 4 of 5
"...among the many people out there writing note-perfect simulacra of 80s disco and pop, none are as good as Shapiro: she’s more loveable than the too schooled for cool neo-Italo of Glass Candy, and she writes better songs than Tommy February. More than that, I’d even go so far as to say that Shapiro is better than the ‘real deal’ –a much better singer than Kylie Minogue..."
Resident Advisor (UK)

"Absolutely love it"
Stereogum (USA)

"#39 track of 2007"
Pitchfork Media (USA)

 

Words about "Jackie Jackie"

"I have a crush on Jackie Jackie"
Michael Mayer, Kompakt (Germany)

"I really like the Junior Boys remix"
Todd Terje, Full Pupp (Norway)

"The chorus, when it arrives with a regal synth-orchestral flourish, is gold."
Pitchfork Media (USA)

"The brilliant new single "Jackie Jackie" is a favorite here at Tokion."
Tokion Magazine (USA)

"'Jackie Jackie...' puts a brilliantly underproduced, Italo-influenced modern disco spin on a lovely little pop song and we would also like to take this opportuity to point out that the Junior Boys mix, also available on iTunes, is totally amazing."
Popjustice "Song of the day" (UK)

"I love those beats"
Rob da Bank, BBC 1 (about the Junior Boys remix) (UK)

"Vintrig disco. Rekommenderas varmt."
Expressen (Sweden)

"Det göteborgska italodiscofenomenet är tillbaka med en lysande remix signerad kanadensiska Junior Boys."
GP 27/2 -08 (Sweden)

"Bäst just nu"
Sara Martinsson, P3 Pop (about the Junior Boys remix) (Sweden)

"[Jackie Jackie] är om möjligt ÄNNU mer en pastisch på romantisk italo än deras fantastiska “I’ll be by your side”. Men de kommer undan med det, de kommer till och med undan med skandinavo-engelskan i pratpartierna. Finns en bra Junior Boys-remix av låten också på tolvan"
Hanna Fahl, PSL (Sweden)

"Roger Gunnarsson serverar en vemodigt vintig synthpophit åt Johan och Sally. Missa inte heller Junior Boys remix."
Digfi (Sweden)

Words about "Anorak Christmas" and "I know"

Rating: 4.5 of 5
"Hand in nervous hand, she coos between flashes of heavenly light, "I know you're my love/ Even though/ Sometimes I/ Believe/ I will wake up/ From this dream," suspending each closing syllable in the synth-spun ether. Elsewhere, her shaded versework traces the shadows on the dark side of the disco ball, while Agebjörn's shimmery synths sync up with all the bright spots, everything in constant, pulsating, revolving motion."
Pitchfork Media
(USA) about "I know"

Rating: 4 of 5
"On this faithful cover of a song by fellow Swedish popsters Nixon, Shapiro's ingénue whisper flutters amid candy cane synths and disco beats"
Pitchfork Media
(USA) about "Anorak Christmas"

"Glorious synthpop from Sweden's 'disco princess', as ultra-soft vocals meet a shiny Eighties beat. Sounds so fragile and beautiful, you half expect it to melt in your mouth."
The Guardian / Observer
(UK) about "Anorak Christmas"

"She’s already gifted us with summer anthem “I’ll Be By Your Side,” and two new tracks, single “Anorak Christmas” and “I Know,” both of which are excellent. Think of her (if you must and can’t simply listen to this ish) as more Agnetha than Anni-Frida, more Annie than Robyn. Then imagine a classic Italo-Disco backing and you’re all set - sweet, emotional longing and dancing your underpants off."
Stylus Magazine
(USA)

"“Anorak Christmas”, a cover of the song by Swedish artist Nixon, is an icy, irresistible lovely little pop track that will have you wanting to snuggle up with your loved one at the fireplace. Watch it. People are going to be making out to this song. “I Know” is dripping in retro, but like her other tracks it’s really Sally Shapiro’s sweet and almost innocent vocals that make the song. If you thought “By Your Side” was as good as it gets… well you were wrong. Both new tracks surpass “By Your Side.”"
Travis, The Big Stereo (USA)

"Ohemmgee. Things just keep getting better and better in the world of Sally Shapiro. I’m starting to feel like the Sally Shapiro fan club here but… how can I resist the urge to post tracks this good? Dyylan’s remix is like total icing on the cake. I didn’t believe “Anorak Christmas” could be any sweeter than it already was, but here it is… total sugar buzz."
Travis, The Big Stereo (USA)

"What is it about Scandinavia? Every so often they throw up a synth pop outfit that takes Anglo ears by surprise (Hello Annie, The Knife, ABBA). In 2007 the good money is on Sally Shapiro, who voices some sweet Italo-flavoured pop getting props lately from the likes of Stylus and bigstereo."
Radioactivity (UK)

"Listen to Anorak Christmas and tell me what it makes you want to do. Seriously, if you don't either 1.) become overcome with lovestruck nostalgia, 2.) immediately start dancing about your room, with or without dancements, or, 3.) fly to Sweden to propose to Sally Shapiro, something is seriously wrong."
At least I am here

"I was telling Jake that I was totally post-music, that I've come to the conclusion that I hate music. (Except for Taiwanese pop.) He told me that I would become post-post-music if I could find "Anorak Christmas" covered by Sally Shapiro.
He was right. I found it, and I love it."
Doretta
(USA)

"This packs more saccharine sweetness than the early bubblegum of Saint Etienne and Kylie combined. Taken from her spanking new debut LP Disco Romance, there’s enough of an everyday feel to suppress the urge to deck the halls with boughs of holly. Aww hell, let’s just admit it: this is as Christmassy as “Oy Chanukah!” but much better suited for the dance floor. I think."
Cam Lindsay, Click Hear (Canada)

"Don’t miss it. This greatest disco song eva."
netnik.com about "Anorak Christmas"

"'Anorak Christmas' is actually the most heartbreaking pop tune of 2006. This is pure synth pop meets italo disco in heaven, with gorgeous harmonies and this languid, innocent voice that melts you irremediably."
restless on Discogs.com

"Samtidigt som kylan och snön kommer Sally Shapiros cover på Nixons (dvs Roger Gunnarson i Cloetta Paris) jullåt ’Anorak Christmas’, en ledsen italo-pärla pyntad med lite glitter från ’Last Christmas’"
Digfi (Sweden)

"Sött, 1980-tal och modernt på samma gång."
Göteborg City 13/12 2006 (Sweden)

"Sally Shapiro c'est la blancheur, suédoise de surcroit le monde est bien fait tu vois, Sally c'est l'approximation qui fait la proximité, la petite fille aux allumettes qui se languit de toi, c'est la disco romance, du titre de son EP à sortir en décembre sur Diskokaine."
Fluokids (France)

Words about "I'll be by your side"

Rating: 4.5 of 5
"Agebjörn's pinpoint synth stabs, 8-bit drums, and chilly, melodic breakdowns wheedle goosebumps, but ultimately it's Shapiro's barely-there choirgirl vocal that sells this as a mislaid pearl from the 45 bin in the attic."
Pitchfork Media (USA)

"Maybe the most beautiful thing I've ever heard."
Hanna Fahl, P3 Pop (SE)

"The track Overload should have deserved an EP on its own."
Calle Dernulf, P3 Dans (SE)

"The single of the summer"
Svenska Dagbladet 25/8(SE)

"We've been listening to "I'll Be By Your Side" at Pitchfork for the past two weeks and are hopelessly in love with it!"
Ryan Schreiber, Editor-in-Chief, Pitchfork Media (USA)

""I'll Be By Your Side" makes for an unlikely meeting: a Swedish producer who rekindles the cold flame of 1980s italo disco, and a pseudonymous chanteuse who brings out the genre's inner shyness. While Johan Agebjörn's four-on-the-floor beats and faraway synths make for beautifully nostalgic trappings, it's Sally Shapiro's soft voice that gives the song its fragile strength."
Marc Hogan, Pitchfork Media in the Top 100 tracks of 2006

"Some of the best italo this reviewer has ever heard! (...) This 12” will blow any italo rocker out of their solar system sneakers. From moody classic italo to full on up beat disco delirium, this slab has it. (...) A fantastic release"
Igloo Magazine (USA)

"...in every respect it is an utterly perfect slice of italo synth-pop."
Vice Magazine (UK) (DE)

""I'll Be By Your Side" is a typically irresistible slice of Nordic joy, vocoder and all, that manages to balance economy and lushness in such an impeccably hip way that all your potential arguments simply bounce off the ironclad resolve of its pure poptasticness."
Stylus Magazine (USA)

"Essential record for fans of Lindstrom, Alden Tyrell and Metro Area!"
Clone (NL)

"Ooops. Ein echter Disco-Vocal-Track mit Säuselstimmchen wie zu besten Lio-Zeiten und perlenden Synthesizern, der irgendwie so naiv klingt, dass man sich dem Pop Appeal einfach nicht entziehen kann, das ist selten."
De:bug (DE)

"Wenn schon retro, dann aber bitte so, dass es auch richtig weh tut: Diskokaine ist ein österreichisches Label, das sich komplett dem Sound von Italo-Disco verschrieben hat. Sally Shapiro könnte ihre Valerie Dore werden: „I’ll Be By Your Side“ ist bereits ein Hit auf I-Fs Internetradio CBS: So hemmungslos nostalgisch war bei allem Eklektizismus der letzten Jahre lange keine Produktion mehr unterwegs."
Groove (DE)

"“I’ll Be By Your Side” is just so… sweet. It’ll have you hugging
yourself. Even though they’re doing different things, Sally Shapiro
reminds me slightly of Annie. Like they both successfully bottled the
same mix of carefreeness and coolness."
Travis, The Big Stereo (USA)

“I’ll be by your Side” is far from being opportunistic, it’s just a perfect contemporary homage song capturing the soul of Italo Disco Goddesses Vivian Vee and Valerie Dore. (...) the other 2 songs "Time to let go" and "Overload" are unbelievably great too"
Pop´n´Cherries (Belgium)

"This something is named Sally Shapiro, and she has teamed up with
Norwegian [sic] producer Johan Agebjorn to release a terrific first
single, "I'll Be by Your Side," on Diskokaine. Preliminary buzz is
already comparing her to the likes of Annie and Robyn, but such
comparisons elide an actual listening to the music, probably because
it's easier to lump them in together by dint of their all being blonde
chicks from Scandinavia. No, Sally is much closer in every conceivable
way to the wistful italo of Valerie Dore..."
Joe, PostCore (USA)

"I'm not 20JFG's italo expert so I can't really name names, only thing
I can say is that the sweet neon caress of her voice, laid over a
smooth pink cushion of 80s reminiscence (produced by genius Johan
Agebjorn and released by Diskokaine) makes me feel strangely, erm,
pastel."
20jazzfunkgreats (UK)

"I never heard more perfect italo disco in my life. It is absolutely
stunning. Sally's voice is airy, wafer thin, almost a whisper and fits
the shimmering music perfectly."
Erik Jälevik, Last FM (UK)

"Shapiro's sad little quaver just dances over everything, flitting in and out of the music like a sparrow."
Tom Breihan, The Village Voice (USA)

"In fact, it’s my favourite song at the moment!"
Chris, Cathy tunes of Sweden

"Sally Shapiro has quite the angelic voice that floats ever so nicely over some of the sweetest synth pop you'll hear this year."
5 acts (USA)

"Sparsmakad men söt neo-italo"
Digfi (SE)

"Dunkelt disco, missa inte."
Svartpeppar (SE)

"#27 track of 2006"
Pitchfork Media (USA)

 

Original forum comments on "I'll be by your side"

Here's a a selection of what people wrote about the original mp3 of "I'll be by your side". We became very flattered and inspired to make more music...

"The "I'll be by your side" song makes me melt ! ! ! Let me know when it is available on vinyl pleeeaase ! This is really a masterpiece."
Andries (from www.johanagebjorn.info guest book)

"i present to you the best synthpop song of the decade (so far) (...) this song hasn't even been released on vinyl yet, which is a shame. i predict that this song will be a classic. this song isn't attempting to be italo disco. it is fucking italo disco. it's not for everyone, but it should be. simple melodic heaven."
from http://battle-mode.livejournal.com blog

"Gives me the creeps! Touching track!"
dmp (from www.cbs.nu forum)

"Ich bin TOTAL begeistert! Kommt meinem ITALO-Feeling verdächtig nahe! Super professionell gemacht! Hervorragende Vocals und am Ende kommt eine Vocoderpart - da bekomme ich Gänsehaut! Hut ab vordieser 'Self Made'-Produktion!"
mixi (from www.italo-disco-forum.de forum)

"Ja der Titel ist sehr gut, hört sich ganz geil an und ist sehr gut produziert ! Auch die Stimme ist megamässig ! Fantastico ! Simpatico !"
DeePho (from www.italo-disco-forum.de forum)

"Good work! You've managed to capture pure italo sound very well. Sally has taken singing lessons with Valerie Dore, I can hear ;)."
mauno (from www.cbs.nu forum)

"This is really really nice work johan - exactly the way it should be. (...) and i love her voice. If this never gets this released then theres nothing fair anymore.
vomatron (from www.cbs.nu forum)

"Congratulations! Very good song, italo like melody, but singing sounds more like French production (Stephanie or Mylene Farmer). Anyway, very catchy melody, beautiful voice, interesting idea, you are going in right direction! I am waiting for another such great tracks like that! "
NetManiak (from www.iventi.net chatboard)

"I also hear a very, very strong 80\'s French influence: it sounds like ELSA, or maybe early Mylene Farmer. I mean it as a big compliment, because nothing sounds like Mylene Farmer, the uncrowned goddess of French pop. (...) This is a very lovely song, indeed! Congratulations."
Euroflash (from www.iventi.net chatboard)

"This is the first time I actually heard something that really resembled a pure 80\'s sound texture!! Congratulations, Johan!!! A fantastic melody, catchy arrangements, pleasing vocal, you name it! But the thing I liked the most is that one wouldn\'t be able to tell it\'s written nowadays! It sounds completely 80\'s. This is where all other attempts to revitalize Italo music today fell short. "
Lenny (from www.iventi.net chatboard)

"I agree with Lenny, not many new productions that claim to sound retro really do. They always sound like techno or house!! Yours not only sounds old, but it is actually a good song. (...) I\'ll definitely be playing it here at my Italo parties!!!! "
Thomas (from www.iventi.net chatboard)

Interviews & articles
(incomplete list)

Sally interview in Hard Candy (USA) (May 2009)

Sally interview in Spinner (Poland) (May 2009)

Sally interview in Stereogum (USA) (May 2009)

Johan interview in Northern Lights (Greece) (March 2009)

Sally & Johan interview in Under the Radar (USA) (February 2009)

Johan interview in The Lepanto League (UK) (October 2008)

Sally & Johan interview in Out Magazine (USA) (August 2008) - the only in-person interview!

Johan interview in Dazed & Confused (UK) (August 2008, no. 164)

Sally & Johan interview in Groove Magazine (Germany) (July 2008)

Johan interview in Papermag (USA) (July 2008)

Sally & Johan interview in Plan B Magazine (UK) (June 2008)

Sally interview in Anthem Magazine (USA) (May 2008)

Sally interview in Stereogum (USA) (April 15th, 2008)

Sally interview in F2 (USA) (No. 1, March 2008)

Sally interview in Reax Magazine (USA) (Volume 2 Issue 10, March 2008)

Sally interview in Resonance Magazine (USA) (Issue 55, February 2008)

Sally interview in Soundgirl (USA) (January 2008 (?))

Johan interview in Judy (Sweden) (January 21st, 2008)

Sally interview in Venus (USA) (December 2007)

Johan interview in Magic Beat (Oslo college radio) (Norway) (November 12th, 2007)

Sally and Johan interview in Under the Radar (USA) (November 2007)

Sally interview in XLR8R (USA) (November 2007)

Sally and Johan interview in Nylon (USA) (November 2007)

Sally and Johan interview in Exclaim! (Canada) (October 31th, 2007)

Sally interview in Pitchfork Media (USA) (October 30th, 2007)

Sally interview in Chart Attack (Canada) (October 16th 2007)

Sally interview in Billboard (USA) (October 16th 2007)

Sally interview in Paper Thin Walls (USA) (October 11th 2007)

Sally interview in Judy (Sweden) (September 29th 2007)

Sally interview in Los Angeles Times (USA) (September 27th (?) 2007)

Sally interview in Pig Magazine (Italy) (September 2007)

Sally interview in Magic Magazine (France) (May 2007)

Sally interview in Just Magazine (English, German) (Germany) (May 2007)

Sally interview in Vice (English, Dutch, Italian) (Winter 2007)

Sally interview in Audiojunkies (UK) (February 2007)

Sally interview in Disc-Jockey.it, mirrored in Technodisco.it (Italy) (January 2007)

Johan interview in Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden) (Jan 3rd 2007)

Sally interview in Pages (Australia) (December 2006 issue, 6th page from the end)

Johan interview in Digfi (Sweden) (December 2006)

Sally and Johan interview in Ondskan (Sweden) (3/2006)

Article in Pitchfork Media (USA) (October 2006)

Download a radio interview
from Swedish radio K103 with Johan from May about the release of "I'll be by your side", broadcast over Gothenburg. (May 2006)