In 2014 you can be a pop star gracing the cover of a magazine, advertising Calvin Klein perfume and acting in films before releasing an album. Sky Ferreira has led a unique life to say the least: raised with Michael Jackson as a friend, signed at age 16 after cultivating a Myspace frenzy and recently getting arrested for drug possession. A lot has happened to Sky Ferreira in her 21 years, but after numerous delays her first album, Night Time, My Time, has landed.
Let’s get this out of the way. This is a pop album. A very good pop album at that. Night Time, My Time casts aside polished and shiny auto-tuned vocals and ‘club banger’ beats, overlooks guest spots from elderly rappers and gives the impression that drinking from the bottle in a club only happens to Sky Ferreira at 4am with mascara down her face.
Distorted vocals, feedback and guitars haven’t featured in pop music for too long, and Sky Ferreira has created a unique and well-realised identity with her sound. It seems a bit ’80s but it’s far too modern, refreshing, but feels like you’ve heard it before. The opening half of the album is incredible; “Boys” is up there with one of the best album openers in recent years, “24 Hours” is stupidly catchy and “Omanko” strikes the perfect blend of witty, original and memorable.
Sadly, “Omanko” is the last highlight of the album as the second half falls flat with songs that just sound like half-finished ideas and B-sides. It’s a shame as the first 6 tracks are so good. Ferreira tends to fall into a trap of repeating the name of the song throughout the chorus. This would be fine once or twice but when you notice it on “Blame Myself”, “24 Hours” and “Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Okay)” before the halfway point, it becomes a bit predictable.
Despite all the criticism, the first half of Night Time, My Time is as good as you’re likely to hear on a pop album for a long time. It’s disappointing that the whole thing couldn’t keep to the high standards. Night Time, My Time might not stray too far from the distorted guitar-based winning formula but that only makes it more endearing, because of its refusal to be the album that the record label surely had in mind when signing a young Myspace princess.By Joni Roome