Mockney songbird grows up – but is she any wiser?
Kate Nash has grown up. Where once she warbled about rubbish boyfriends, now she’s singing about cocaine, self-hating sex and coming out of the closet. She’s also grunged-up her sound, lifting a trick or three from boyfriend Ryan Jarman of The Cribs.
What hasn’t changed, alas, is Nash’s horrible contrivance of a singing voice. Famous for rhyming ‘bittah’ with ‘fittah’ on her break-out hit, ‘Foundations’, Nash continues to plumb the depths of mockney self-parody. At moments, it sounds like she’s auditioning for a role on EastEnders.
Still, once you get past the glottal stops and Landahn-isms, there’s lots to enjoy. Her ‘coming out’ tune ‘I’ve Got A Secret’ (it’s about a friend apparently) is the purest pop song she’s ever written. Elsewhere, the single ‘Do Wah Do’ is a teasing kiss-off to a romantic rival whilst the largely acoustic ‘You Were So Far Away’ is a mostly straightforward folk ditty. Perhaps the most striking moment is the spoken-word ‘Mansion Song’, where she rants about drugs, the media and two-faced music industry people. Unfortunately, she chooses to do so against a backdrop of migraine inducing noize-pop. There’s a rrriot going on for sure – but sometimes it isn’t quite clear whether Nash is truly in control of the forces she has unleashed.
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