Katy B: Little Red

katyb

THREE years on from Katy (Kathleen Brien) B’s Mercury-nominated debut On A Mission and British dance music is in a ruddier state of health than it has been for some years.
You can hardly blame the likeable, down to earth Londoner for wanting the spoils that go with material aimed squarely at the pop charts, but it’s a dangerous game to play.
On A Mission’s urban appeal was part of its success, raw edges which are less evident on Little Red and its likes of big Adele-like ballad Crying for a Reason, co-authored by Robbie Williams’ songwriter-in-chief Guy Chambers.
Happily, though, in the main it works, especially on what used to be called side one. The clubby Next Thing, single 5AM and Jessie Ware duet Aaliyah – which its lyrical update of Dolly Parton’s Jolene – are among the strongest things here.
Her lyrics are still top notch and it’s refreshing to hear songs which deal in reality (“I like you a little bit”, 5AM’s hymn to the virtues of snuggling up, “I need some loving like valium”) rather than fake emotions. And even if it sags a little in the second half, Little Red is still an addictive listen.
Like this? Try these: Disclosure, Settle; Neneh Cherry: Raw Like Sushi

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