EP Review: Sky Ferreira – As If!

When it comes to pop music, post-Rebecca Black, “we’re through the looking glass here, people.” The viral video hit takes teen pop to its logical conclusion: mind-numbing simplicity. But while Ark Music creations pump out the pop equivalents of pre-teen beauty queens, some artists have bigger things in mind.

Since featuring her in the Verge last August, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the debut album from Sky Ferreira. While that record has been indefinitely postponed, the LA lolita released the As If! EP this week. For reference, Ferreira was three-years-old when Clueless popularized that totally 90s catchphrase.

Lead single “Sex Rules” is a bouncing, glittery ball of 80s mall pop. The frank sexuality of the lyrics (don’t worry – she’s 18!) is kind of jarring at first, only because of the source. But in all fairness, the sex-positive lyrics are relatively tame to what kids her age (and younger) are actually doing.

“99 Tears” is more of the same, replacing sex talk with a broken heart. Another milestone in the dubstep-pop crossover is “Traces,” the wobble-filled ballad penned by Colin Munroe and Neon Hitch. It takes a page from BAR9’s luvstep-approved remix of Ferreira’s “One.”

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/02-Traces.mp3″ text=”Sky Ferriera – Traces” dl=0]

“Haters Anonymous” has a schizophrenic duality to it, with a synthpop chorus and spoken word verses. In the age of Facebook bullies, the lyrics resonate with her target audience – even if they come from someone deep in the LA social scene. As If! closes with its lone misfire, “108,” a song held back by its strange lyrical premise.

In another nod to 90s pop culture, Ferreira and “Sex Rules” are featured in the new ad campaign for ck one. Tired of Dr. Luke (or Ark Music) produced, derivative garbage? Sky Ferreira does slut-pop right.

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