Holiday Destination

Holiday Destination

by Nadine Shah

CD

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Overview

Holiday Destination

Holiday Destination is Nadine Shah's third record, and it's the one that sees her emerge from the ubiquitous PJ Harvey and Nick Cave comparisons most fully. Certainly, as far as Harvey and Shah's music is compared, there are certain aesthetic and thematic crossovers, but the latter's political concerns feel acutely direct and personal compared to the more conceptual nature of Harvey's later work. With this latest record she tackles big and troubling issues apparent both in her native U.K. and around the world, yet those heavy themes are consistently met with a playful, limber, and imaginative musicality. Opener "A Place Like This" pairs funk rhythms with pro-refugee protest chants, and "2016" speaks of "Fascists in the Whitehouse" among nimble guitar riffs and a crisp, disjointed beat. The bracing lead single "Out the Way" is a frank cautionary tale about the rise of nationalism and the treatment of second generation immigrants -- "Where would you have me go?/I'm second generation/Don't you know?" -- and its jittery, marching rhythm, vibrating guitar, and lunging sax feed into the urgency and importance of the narrative. The title track was inspired by news footage of holiday makers in Greece complaining of the refugee crisis' effect on their break, and still its danceability doesn't detract from the troubling lyrical content, which warns, "Fatalities in the water/traffic jam by your side/feed your son, feed your daughter/how you gonna sleep tonight?/the bad guys they are winning." Unlike her previous records, which were recorded live, Shah has described Holiday Destination as a studio album. However, there is little to fear in terms of this record being too polished, as it's lost none of the character of her previous efforts. "Yes Men" is an example of light production touches serving the songs beautifully as Shah's vocal is repositioned to the fore. The pace is slowed, but not at the expense of impact -- her voice admonishes sycophants who peddle lies in service to their own agenda with a rich sensory power. It's an album filled with wonderful moments from the delicious grooves of "Evil" to "Mother Fighter's" entrancing hooks, and they only ever serve to deepen Shah's message. To have made this collection as musically grim as the problems she addresses could have left a sense of hopelessness ringing in the air. But this lively and spirited musical landscape celebrates music's ability to unite as much as it eloquently protests division. ~ Bekki Bemrose

Product Details

Release Date: 08/25/2017
Label: Pias America
UPC: 5414939959097
catalogNumber: 1033
Rank: 214985

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