Sunday, 9 February 2014

Katy B - Little Red Album Review

It's a rare moment when a song actually blows me away, there have been many I've really enjoyed over the past few years but only a handful of songs have fully knocked me off my feet due to their sheer brilliance. Katy B's debut single 'Katy On A Mission' was one of those songs. The beat. Katy's vocals. The chorus. It was all so right. This wasn't a fluke though, she backed it up by an equally excellent album, the Mercury nominated On A Mission. Following up such an accomplished debut album was never going to be easy, but Peckham's dancefloor queen has delivered once again.

Little Red opens with the extremely 90's sounding 'Next Thing' which is one of Katy's most club-ready tunes to date with it's heavy house beat and layered samples. Next is the catchy-as-hell single '5AM' which still sounds as fresh as the first time I heard it. The highlight of course is the 2012 buzz single 'Aaliyah' featuring the excellent sultry purrs of fellow South Londoner Jessie Ware. 'I Like You' (originally the b-side for 5AM) was a surprise addition, while I can't help feeling that she should've saved it for the album instead of dropping it earlier, George Fitzgerald's progressive production still burns bright. 

There are times when I miss the ramshackle charm of her previous material; the tracks on Little Red feel much more polished, this isn't necessarily a bad thing but at times I wish there was a bit more rawness production-wise. The ballads 'Crying For No Reason' and 'Still' show a new, softer side to Katy and give this record more depth than her debut. Sapha's soulful tone bounces of Katy's vocals perfectly on the track 'Play', and the twinkling production make it a nauseatingly beautiful listen. Sadly like on her debut, Little Red has a bit of filler, the tracks 'All My Lovin'' and 'Emotions' feel a bit unnecessary on such a strong album. However, 'Everything', 'Play' and 'Still' prevent it from being top-heavy 'banger'-wise. 

Overall, Little Red is an immensely confident body of work. Katy continues to utilise her gorgeous hook-laden voice and her knack for selecting the best dance producers around to create 2014's first great pop album. Whilst it isn't as good as her debut, the 
best moments on here show that there is much more to come from this ever-rising star. 


Key Tracks: 'Next Thing', 'Aaliyah', 'Play', 'Everything', 'Still'

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