Many years ago, back in 2004, Elizabeth Harper began her music career as a singer/songwriter, strumming an acoustic guitar and crooning to coffeehouse patrons. Half a decade later, the beautiful songstress swapped her guitar for some synthesizers and drum machines, and let’s just say, the trade was for the best.
Harper joined forces with producer Mark Richardson and engineer/multi-instrumentalist Scott Rosenthal, and in February of last year, the trio released Journal of Ardency, its first EP as Class Actress. Though musically Harper had made a complete 180 from her solo project, there were still glimpses of her coffee shop days in the way she projected herself. But now, a mere year later, that girl is gone, and in her place is a sexy, detached New York City Socialite.
The seductive nature of Class Actress’ debut LP, Rapprocher, is apparent before dropping the needle. The French-titled album translates to “come closer,” in English, with an album cover featuring Harper lying on white sheets, enticing her listeners with her mouth agape and hair tousled, suggesting the very title of her record. And when the music starts, the album cover makes even more sense. Dripping with glam and sexuality, it is no wonder the band attributes Depeche Mode and early Madonna as sonic influences. Synthesizers hum and drum machines crunch behind Harper’s fleeting, breathy vocals, as she unemotionally attempts to sing of love and heartbreak in tracks like the morose, new wave-tinged “Let Me Love You,” and the more lively, beat-infused single, “Weekend.”
Though it is hard to believe the sultry singer’s amorous woes, its easy to buy her love for luxury and sex as she sings, “Riding in the back of a limousine, take me down on hotel sheets / Oh, say you will, you better say you will,” in the aptly title “Limousine.” This is a girl who wants the glitz and glamour of fame, and as long as her band continues to release picture-perfectly produced pop music, Elizabeth Harper will get everything she’s ever wanted