Beautiful Small Machines’ Robots in Love EP

Talented early-2k songstress Bree Sharp makes a triumphant return along side long time musical cohort Don DiLego with their perfectly techno-satyric electropop on 2009’s EP; Robots In Love.

On August 2, 2007, Sharp announced on her MySpace blog that the mixing of her long-delayed third studio album, Robots in Love, was all but complete, and posted four of the new songs (“EastSide,” “So Long 2 U,” “In the Name of Revenge,” and “Robots in Love”) on her MySpace music player. In January 2008, she added two more new songs (“Counting Back to 1” and “The Wretched Sound of City Cars”) to the player. Sharp ultimately opted to release the new material not as a solo album but through Beautiful Small Machines, a new band comprising herself and longtime collaborator Don DiLego.

            

 

 

Its been well over a decade now since I first fell in love with the witty musings of  Bree Sharp’s freshman album, 1999’s The Cheap and Evil Girl. An excellent album by all accounts it is perhaps best and most historically defined by it’s run-away radio hit; an overt wanderlust lament to X-Files television star David Duchovny… Yes, that was twenty-something songstress Bree Sharp crooning about the emeritus attributes of David Duchovny for all the world to hear and sing-along with as made evident in the song’s perfectly simple and completely succesfull star-studded music video. 2002 then saw the release of Bree’s sophomore album, More B.S. which while not as commercially successful as it’s more pop-driven predecessor saw the further development and refinement of Sharpe’s uniquely tuned indie-pop lyrics and sound. Great albums easily enjoyable from start to finish produced by young musician on the rise it would sadly be another seven years before we would get our next studio release (though Bree did release numerous covers via her website and MySpace that featured her “acoustic living room” sets) from the lovely and inspired songstress from Philadelphia.

 

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In that seven years since More B.S. was first released Sharp has not sat idly by instead both her and Don DiLego (whom also worked with Bree on her first album, 1999’s Cheap and Evil Girl) have been working together to hone their craft and create a unique sound and style all their own, an effort that over the years transitioned from another Bree Sharp album into a collaborative Beautiful Small Machines album. Que 2009’s EP Robots In Love, an album that debuts BSM’s new sound, something they’ve taken to referring to as sci-fidelity; a moniker all the more amusing given the albums lyrics, sound and focus. Less indie and more electropop this new album represents the continued development and progression of an artist, gone are some of the more overtly emotional undertones of Cheap and Evil Girl or More B.S. and in their place we find the topically satirical. Lyrics and inferences that as much poke fun at an increasingly technocratic world as embrace it, a sort of auditory counterpart to the life experiences of all us that have come of age in the era of the internet and social networks. The EP is nostalgic too, paying a certain homage to the 80’s which in good fashion serves as the perfect foil the more modern sounds of other contemporary pop musicians.

Radio friendly, the title track “Robots In Love” accomplishes so much with such little effort that it clearly establishes where the sound of the duo is headed on future albums. On the surface at least, this song is a cute, catchy and simple but on subsequent re-listens the deeper nuances and implied meanings of the song begin to stand tall, establishing self-inferred meanings and themes that serve to really elevate the over-aching metaphor of the entire EP.  Tyler Huckabee perhaps said it best when reviewing the album in 2009, “It is, after all, a boy/girl electro-pop duo whose songs center on superconductors, mainframes, and – incessantly – robots. It’s got all the computer-y whirs, buzzes, and synths you’d expect from such a venture, the album cover is a heart made out of binary code, and one of the songs is titled “So Long 2 U” so that might be enough info right there for you to know whether or not you’d like these guys.

 

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Other stand-out tracks on the short album include Counting Back to 1, Super Conducter and So Long to U. Divergent tracks that while not as immediately catchy as Robots In Love, never the less further establish the wide range and accomplished sound of the talented electropop indie duo. Well worth your listen and a place in your musical collection, Beautiful Small Machines is a band you should keep an eye on.

Beautiful Small Machines

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