Hard to believe now, but Sophie Ellis-Bextor first came to prominence as a demure indie chick in the underrated Britpop outfit theaudience. Since then, of course, this self-consciously posh young lady has developed into a fully-fledged pop star - her debut solo album Read My Lips was critically panned but spawned four hit singles and sold a staggering 1.5 million copies. Presumably that's why she's decided to make it all over again, sticking rigidly to the same formula of sprightly dance tunes and languid torch songs, penned by the likes of Blur's Alex James and ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler. Ellis-Bextor's greatest asset remains her distinctively upper-crust voice, allowing her to adopt a pose of haughty indifference that marks her out from the rest of the pop crowd. What a shame, then, that it's wasted on such bland chart fare - lyrically these songs are formulaic at best, insultingly stupid at worst. Shoot From The Hip is a perfectly efficient pop album - but it still leaves you wondering what Ellis-Bextor could achieve if she really tried.
Review by | 09:00 | Saturday 8th November 2003 | Album Review