The evolution of Dragonette has brought them to an even more defined area where they have stepped up their game into becoming their own entity. Bodyparts is the group’s third album and it moved them from cautious songmakers to confident genre-leaders. Where Galore was a test of what sounds they could work with and Fixin’ To Thrill was the honing of those sounds, Bodyparts is complete ownership.
From the thumping 80s beat over a dreamy mid-tempo that blends the pop styles of Roxette or Belinda Carlile if they were modernized by Stuart Price‘s Thin White Duke persona, Run Run Run kicks the record off to a promising start. The album makes it a point that you need to have a good time, “dance like I started a riot” from Riot, with messages that are so obvious that we often don’t think of them but they become instantly classic: “I don’t wanna work just give me the money,” from My Work Is Done. They don’t have much to say but what is said is important and must be done with the right musical precision and attitude.
Martina’s sassiness doesn’t rear itself as much on Bodyparts the way it’s been known to. The height of it comes in the form of My Legs. The most playful track on the album that isn’t done true justice until seen performed live where Martina’s legs move and appear to be independent from the rest of her body as she sings the insanely catchy chorus, “I can’t stop my legs/my legs go out late dancing/I try to wash my face my lips say put on makeup/Can’t stay home cause my body’s got itself all dressed up/And I’m the one who pays for it tomorrow when I wake up.” It’s their most fashionable track since Gone Too Far.
The record also has less sexual innuendo that made songs like I Get Around, Gone Too Far and even much of her folky solo songs so naughty. The most suggestive song comes as a bonus track from the iTunes version of the album called Cuckoo, which is Martina singing Marilyn-style with just a guitar and lines like “Just one touch and you’ll melt in my butter/It’s my pleasure to go all nuts for ya.” Though Untouchable and Rocket Ship ooze with sexual desire, they aren’t as plainly laid out. They take a look at the other side of the promiscuity in their lyrics where Ghost shows a level of sensitivity that they haven’t alluded to before as the album’s only ballad, lead with the hook “he knows he knows he knows/I’ve been untrue.”
Bodyparts is Dragonette without the sleaze and sweat but with the heart and plain desire to have a good time. While there is a sense of restraint that seems evident once the album has a full play-through, it’s likely not because they’re purposefully holding something back but because they haven’t yet mastered the next step in the process. Even still, they continue to get better with the best still to come. In the meantime, Bodyparts fills the void in classy sass pop that we didn’t know was there.
1. Run Run Run
2. Live In This City
3. Let It Go
5. Lay Low
6. Right Woman
7. My Legs
8. Giddy Up
9. Rocket Ship
11. My Work Is Done