Somewhere Else

Relative to modern EDM, the ’80s-born sound known as Italo disco is more suave and sophisticated than it is sweaty, though the goal is still to make bodies move. On their third album, the Swedish duo of singer Sally Shapiro and producer Johan Agebjörn venture beyond the subgenre, making successful forays into lush, drowsy synth-pop. They occasionally get back to their roots but even when they make with the swanky strobe-lit thump, they keep things light and melodic, inviting discophobic listeners past the velvet ropes. And their winning idiosyncrasies aren’t solely musical. On the beat-heavy likes of “If It Doesn’t Rain” and “Architectured Love,” Shapiro plays a peculiar sort of disco diva. She’s neither an “I Will Survive” self-affirmer nor a taunting sex kitten. She could almost front a twee-pop band like Camera Obscura, and on the bubbly roof-raiser “All My Life,” she declares independence from her mother and man in a manner that’s downright polite. On the irresistibly sleek “Starman,” she lures with the beat but kills with her sweetness, proving once again that the dance floor need not be a dark and scary place.

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