Maintaining their punchy quirk and post-punk freewheeling, Shopping's latest chapter, The Official Body, is a confidently charming progression for the London duo. A more subdued flamboyancy seems to restrain the songs from floating backwards into the routine New Wave kitsch from the previous work on Why Choose. Although the group is still fundamentally indexed with their ESG, B52s, and Tom Tom Club predecessors, their third full-length reinforces their proprietary blend of New Wave elements and ultramodern originality.
From the one-two wallop of an opening track on "The Hype," the pent-up aggression and frustration of Brexit and Trump hysteria detonates into a funk-punk pool party with a rhythmic thwack of the bass, jittery guitar bursts, and shouted choral melodies. An articulate balance in the delivery of socio-political representation is a admirable strength of the trio made up of LGBT and persons of color and "New Values" is fine proof of their ability to craft driving, memorable, and meaningful songs.