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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "Not The Same" - Alice Pisano

Following this year's Shattered But Still Cool, Pisano returns once again with another dance-pop gem. "Not The Same" leans further into electro-flavorings than previous singles, but carries the same richness in tones and stickiness in melodies. Written about emotional avoidance in a relationship, the single grounds itself in a synth tone that sounds almost like persistent phone notifications interrupting any intimacy. Tepid finger snapping fail to pull a detached boyfriend into the moment, leaving Pisano to break into the infectious chorus. Her vocals blend with modulated layers as she spits out the titular phrase, blaring her frustrations through whatever wall kept her from him. Beautifully double-tracked, Pisano's voice is especially powerful in the following chorus as she tumbles through the questions swirling in her mind. There'll be no more guessing games.

Bereft of honest communication, a relationship is doomed to crash. "Not The Same" sees Pisano unbuckling and diving out before it goes up in flames. Uncertain of where her partner stands with her, the UK-based artist internalizes the unanswered questions. "Are you playing games? You leave me guessing again and again," she grits. The binding agent behind Pisano's lyrics is the sense of frustration. It's not just that her partner is unclear with his feelings, it's about the internal turmoil she's undergone as a result. "You don't really care how bad it hurts." It's especially gripping to hear her crash through the prevailing disconnect like brick walls. "All this mystery gets on my nerves!" As she prepares to walk out the door, Pisano offers the remnants of her empathy. "I can't give you what you need," she tells him. A weight lifts off her shoulders as she accepts that his emotional avoidance is not her problem.

No artist has hustled quite like Alice Pisano in 2023. Kicking off the year, the London popster released her sophomore EP, Shattered But Still Cool. Every track on the record was notably played on BBC1's Future Pop Show, a major milestone for the upcoming star. In the following months, she released singles "Part-Time Girlfriend" and "Back To Her." Remarking on her new single, Pisano states that she actually played "Not The Same" for the ex to whom she wrote it (apparently to an unamused response). The song was produced by Lewis Gardiner, notable for his collaborations with Ellie Goulding and Pharrell Williams.

Written By Andy M.

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