Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Album review : Katy B "On a mission"

After building hype the last few months with a number of quality single releases- namely Lights on, Katy On a Mission and Perfect stranger- Peckham born Katy B finally releases her first album On a mission. The question is can the rest of the album cuts match the high standard of excellent singles that proceeded it?

Immediately on first listen the prevailing thought that rings in your head is just how achingly cool and assured this d├ębut is- a feeling not felt since the release of the first Sugababes album Overload.  Every song is a confident stride into a different dance genres and whether its a dub-step inspired banger like Katy On a mission or the 2-step sound of Lights on, the project maintains a consistency and honesty that many seasoned veterans have never even achieved.

Part of the magic comes from the stellar producers- like Benga and Magnetic Man- that wondrously seem to manage the impossible by making  an album consisting solely of electronically created music sound organic and of housing a semblance of a human soul. An accomplishment made even more notable when contrasted with the sugary, empty, bloated electro-club sound that has permeated the world music scene the last few years.

But the main heart of the album is provided by Katy B's vocals. Her voice isn't the powerhouse, belting kind, but it's instead a light, warm, emotive instrument that is perfectly suited to the material it sings. Her delivery is always intelligent and frames the cool dance beats with a natural rhythm and skill that is incredibly hypnotic.
 The melodies she crafts are also solid and often have a tendency to dip into an Eastern scale -see Witches brew and Why you always here- that adds to the vibrancy and originality of whatever its floating over. This is singing that is as affecting as any wailing Diva and is a real showcase of why vocally sometimes less can be more if there is intelligence behind the delivery.

Diva's take note as Katy B shows why music doesn’t have to be about outrageous attire, subversive lyrics, or about distancing yourself as far from the "ordinary" as possible to be fun,exciting or cutting edge. 
Download:Katy On A Mission,Witches Brew, Movement, Broken Record
Avoid: Disappear, Go Away

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