Known for their spacious harmonies and candid lyrical approach to life, MICHELLE swiftly became a powerhouse of NY pop after single ‘SUNRISE’ flecked every curated playlist with the word ‘summer’ in. While carefree lockdown album ‘HEATWAVE’ was a glossy summer record, ‘AFTER DINNER, WE TALK ABOUT DREAMS’ dives deeper into the individuals that collectively make up MICHELLE, unearthing a smorgasbord of vocal talent, pinned into place by the smooth swing of a nu-funk beat, and a newfound breadth in their songwriting. Desire is a primary subject of the record, with ‘SYNCOPATE’ concerning the sensual movements involved in intimacy, and ‘END OF THE WORLD’ lusting after a theoretical apocalypse hook-up. Leaning on the romanticisation of NYC as much as that of their interpersonal relationships, this second offering is a shimmering exhibit of vocal dexterity, however some tracks occasionally feel devoid of the usual MICHELLE flourishes, with ‘50-50’ sounding like an Ed Sheeran B-side and ‘Layla In The Rocket’ leaning on simple songwriting to offer palatable pop, but nothing greater. Toeing the fading line between R&B and inner-city soul, ‘AFTER DINNER, WE TALK ABOUT DREAMS’ is flecked with hints of pop greatness.
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