Cannonball Jane is the nom de disque of Brooklyn's Sharon Hagopian, who, when she gets home from her day job as a music teacher, spends her evenings tinkering away at beatbox and sampler, creating what the press release accurately describes as "sassy hip-hop sampling girl-group pop". Her favourite ploy is to take a harsh, brutal breakbeat and numbskull synth or distorted guitar riff, and soften it up with an angelic chorale of layered harmonies and maybe an innocent piano motif, as she does on "Fine Reminder" and "Force of Gravity", the piquant contrasts delivered with élan and fizz. The results can mostly be located at some midpoint between Electrelane and Goldfrapp (as with "Text"), or Daft Punk and Girls Aloud ("Hey! Hey! Alright!"), but there's an appealing industrial edge to her naive pop shapes that recalls early-Eighties electro-pop from Sheffield. And although she sometimes doesn't know when to leave a piece alone, Hagopian's eclecticism conjures up some delightful soft-but-spiky creations from jungle beats, idyllic flute, punk guitars and exotic samples - most notably, "Slumber Party", where her ingénue voice reclines in a retro-lounge samplescape haunted by wistful melodica.
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