- 28 Nov 11
Take two for London popstrel. You'll like it, but not a lott.
Pixie Lott’s 2009 debut Turn It Up was a nicely-spun collection of candyfloss pop – insubstantial, yes, but fun and containing moments of real sweetness. Now, Pixie wants us to take her seriously. Young Foolish Happy therefore aims for a deeper vibe, seeking to bus-in instant credibility via hook-ups with Stevie Wonder, who adds a harmonica solo to classic soul romp ‘Stevie On The Radio’ (geddit?!), and John Legend, who plays piano on slow-burning ballad ‘You Win’.
‘Come Get It Now’ makes for a surefooted start, the alluringly smooth chorus recalling the nu-soul heyday of Terence Trent D’arby. Things take a more contemporary turn on ‘What Do You Take Me For?’, with Pusha T adding real presence to the Rusko-produced track. Elsewhere, Pixie acquits herself well playing the role of lovelorn torch singer on ‘Everybody Hurts Sometimes’, her smoky vocal working in delicious tandem with strings and piano. However, there are a number of missteps. ‘Bright Lights (Good Life) Part II’ is a tired ballad that the presence of Tinchy Stryder does little to pep up and there is generic chart-pop aplenty – do avoid the Jessie J-alike ‘Birthday’.
Curiously, despite the vintage soul embellishments, the most retro elements of the record are the lyrical platitudes that are piled-on at every opportunity. For, if there’s an overriding message to this album, it’s to seize the moment and cherish your fleeting youth. Someone should have informed Lott and her platoon of co-writers that being young also gives us license to take a few risks. For, unfortunately, a dollop of recklessness is the crucial ingredient lacking from this diligently crafted, but fundamentally unadventurous record.