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Katy B - Little Red (Album Review)

Thursday, 06 February 2014 Written by Heather McDaid

Having picked up a Mercury Prize nomination for her critically acclaimed debut album, 'On A Mission', not to mention a few high profile commercial endorsements, Katy B faces a new challenge with her sophomore record, ‘Little Red’. It must be equally on point, but also display three years’ worth of artistic growth. Luckily, she’s largely succeeded in doing just that.

Having been teasing the album for a while, there's been time for those following her with interest to pick up the mild disparity in the strength of certain early tracks. 5AM, which has been doing the rounds since last autumn, grabs the attention and is, unsurprisingly, one for a night out.

Crying For No Reason, meanwhile, is a tad hit and miss, with a blend of emotive vocals and overdone electronics grappling for supremacy. At times it works, but at certain points, any personality is completely drowned out.

But, take ‘Little Red’ as a whole and it reveals its strengths. It’s not difficult to see just how many chart staples are nonsensical, or have odd, clumsy lyrics needlessly slathered across a backdrop of big, catchy beats. Here, though there is a real narrative to even the biggest dance tunes, even if the overall point being made is that a track in a club is “sick”.

I Like You is a subdued dancefloor hit, teetering on the brink of a drop but never quite succumbing to the temptation. Instead, it's well crafted, opting for a jarring electronic twist in the latter quarter. Everything is another atypical stand out, bouncing as it does into the quirky beats of Play, which features a contribution from Sampha.

‘Little Red’ is Katy B showing off the many strings to her bow and displaying the development of her sound. In terms of songcraft and vocal performance, she succeeds. If you're looking for a record to crack on while getting amped up for a night out, this is most definitely the one.

Katy B UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Tue March 25 2014 - BRIGHTON Brighton Concorde 2
Wed March 26 2014 - LONDON KOKO
Thu March 27 2014 - OXFORD O2 Academy Oxford
Fri March 28 2014 - BIRMINGHAM Library, The Institute
Sat March 29 2014 - MANCHESTER Manchester Academy 2
Thu October 23 2014 - LONDON Roundhouse

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