Happy Birthday –  Efi Gjika (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There was a time when the idea of artists so young would conjure images of school choirs singing saccharine songs about their grandad or Disney spin-offs as barely concealed marketing ploys. But the world has moved on a lot since then and the cool, relevant and creative youth artist has really come of age…if you know what I mean. And Efi Gjika is certainly one of those. After all doesn’t it seem logical that pre-teens and young adults should have artists their own age to look up to. And shouldn’t those artists be delivering something that speaks to them, that feels like it is being made just for them and is up with the current age-appropriate zeitgeists? Well, Happy Birthday is a big fat yes to all of the above.

Day-Glo pop at its best, fun, infectious and effortlessly memorable in its sing-along qualities. And the clever thing is that it speaks in the language of the young to the young, why should the adults be the ones to have all the fun when the kids can party too?

And what makes this song stand out is that with only a few minor changes…a twenty-something singer, maybe a heavier dance groove driving it, you would have a sure-fire hit amongst the mainstream club scene. I’m not suggesting anyone does that but it does show you just how well put together this song is. Just more proof that songs aimed at the younger audience don’t have to compromise on quality.

And of course the great trick that this record pulls off is that unlike most records which have a limited window of popularity and then fade away to varying degrees, this is a song that will be revived every year and used as the sound track to some memorable birthday parties. How cools that?

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