Kate Nash - My Best Friend Is You
How quickly the hipster tide turns. It was only three short years ago that Kate Nash was being hailed as a young songwriting force to be reckoned with. "Lily Allen, except she can actually play an instrument!" was the general consensus on her charming debut 'Made of Bricks'.
In 2010, Nash is swimming against the tide. Not only has she been written off as something of a one-hit wonder by many, but the market is saturated with women of a similar age, plugging a similar sound to her own. Album number two needs to be something quite special, but unfortunately, it's not.
Playing up to a 'cutesy' image is Nash's first mistake – her album artwork is based around lovehearts and bunny rabbits (seriously) – but it's the music that really lets her down. She may be an adept pianist, but she never really gets to showcase that skill, while homages to Motown ('Kiss That Grrl'), rock ('I Just Love You More') and layered indiepop ('Later On') come across as tokenistic inclusions that fall flatter than Bernard Butler's production.
Lyrically, some of these offerings are atrocious, although they're presumably meant tongue-in-cheek: 'Mansion Song' sees Nash attempting some sort of John Cooper Clarke-esque commentary and is probably the worst thing she's ever done. It's a pity, because its preceding number, 'I've Got a Secret', is probably her best tune to date, an floaty dream-pop song with an off-kilter pace and echoey ambience.
Perhaps if Nash had picked an angle – like the sound that 'I've Got a Secret' pursues – she could have marked herself out as an individual in a sea of bland popstrels. Instead, this is a hotchpotch of styles, none of them particularly successful. That said, she's still only 22 – just as well, since there's evidently a lot yet to learn.
Review by Lauren Murphy | 09:00 | Friday 16th April 2010 | Album Review
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