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Betty Who Sparks Joy, Captures Optimism on New 'Slow Dancing' EP [Review]

Betty Who - Slow Dancing - EP Art

There are many things that I admire about Betty Who. Her music is outrageously catchy, her songs are drenched in a delicious brew of '80s goodness and her live performance is a non-stop delight. What I think ultimately sets Betty Who's music apart is that it's dominated by a joyful quality that fills it with life and makes her lyrics so easy to relate to.

I'm not saying that all of the singer's music is about joy (she knows how to write a killer break-up tune too), but there's a hopeful spark and sense of optimism to her music no matter what the topic of the song is. I think much of that sentiment has to do with the love, care and passion Betty puts into crafting each and every one of her songs. 

Betty Who's joyful spirit is most prominent during her live shows that are filled with humor, off-the-cuff remarks and unscripted moments with fans in the audience. Leave it up to Betty Who to go from lamenting about a love lost to seamlessly segueing into a moment of hilarity that has the entire room bursting out laughing. It's her candor, sense of humor and optimism that fuels her brilliant pop mind.

After stirring up a storm of interest with her debut EP that included her breakthrough single "Somebody Loves You," the pop singer returns this week with her much-anticipated new EP Slow Dancing that was executive produced by Peter Thomas. It's a meaningful and cohesive effort that is about picking up the pieces after a break up and knowing that despite the disappointment it's possible to love again. In Betty's world, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel and the songs on Slow Dancing are solid proof of that.

Slow Dancing kicks off with her current single "Heartbreak Dream" that appropriately sets the tone for the rest of EP. Packed with a bittersweet sentiment, Betty reminisces about a shattered love. "In a moment/You were everything to me/In this moment/We're living in a heartbreak dream," she admits in the chorus that is set to an upbeat, high-energy melody that is clearly an indication that she's ready for brighter times.

On the lush "Alone Again," she carefully crawls back up to be able to commit again. She sings, "I'm gonna give you a break/Driving 'till you disappear and maybe then you'll say/Don't ever leave me alone again." She takes it few steps further on "Lovin' Start" when Cupid takes flight again. "Every minute I get a little closer to your heart/Because it's you who makes it right," she sings. 

The EP is anchored by the synthy smooth and shimmering "Giving Me Away" that is ruled by a soaring, candy-apple chorus that is set up by a very pretty pre-chorus. It's a song about falling in love all over again that's written in a way that people everywhere can instantly relate to. Betty sings, "Judging from how we've been/You should kiss me like you mean it again/'Cause I don't wanna be your friend/Call me pretty young thing/Make me weak until I'm speechless/Falling into you." 

The album closes on an atmospheric note with "Silas." It's seems to be an intensely personal song that Betty first performed during her early live shows with just a guitar in hand. It's another stand out moment for the rising pop sensation that shows there's a depth and scope to her artistry that will leave fans wanting more. 

Slow Dancing is proof that Betty Who pours herself completely into her music without compromise. It may be slightly dark at times but there's always a strong sense of optimism that things will be okay. In a our frenzied world filled with complicated relationships, it should come no surprise that Betty Who's music strikes a chord. She has found a way to harness the power of pop, and give it her own unique and meaningful spin.

April 9, 2014 | Permalink