Album Review Kate Nash - Made Of Bricks

But best of all, is that it’s a collection of very good songs, played in a completely unpretentious, honest way.

Someone, somewhere has decided that - obviously - all young women are the same. We’ve already had our fill of Lily vs. Amy, and, just because Lily decided she liked her work, Kate Nash is dubbed her successor, probably without anyone having listened to any of her songs. So it’s hard to be shocked by the fact ‘Made Of Bricks’ doesn’t sound anything like ‘Alright, Still’. What is surprising, however - with only the evidence of ‘Foundations’ and ‘Birds’ for example - is that she’s something of a colouring book Regina Spektor, or British Bjork in the making.

It’s the former which is a clear influence over much of ‘Made Of Bricks’; the piano of ‘We Get On’, the vocal yelps through ‘Mariella’, the melancholy of ‘Nicest Thing’. Even the showtune-y ‘Merry Happy’ (a Christmas time single if ever we heard one) could be performed by Spektor herself, should she have grown up in the deliberately unexciting British suburbs.

OK, so her lyrics aren’t exactly Shakespearian - ‘I play all day long in my room’ - a classic example, perhaps. But while steering clear of flowery words, over-articulation and pomposity, she’s all the more able to sum up feelings. ‘We Get On’ might form the basis for a Hollywood teen movie (or even just a Hollyoaks storyline), but it’s done so with such raw honesty that you can’t help but feel for the poor girl she’s singing for. ‘Shit Song’ can’t fail to instigate chuckles over the choice of wine over boys, and ‘Pumpkin Soup’, while the poppiest moment of the entire record, is refreshing in its naivety.

Moreover, ‘Dickhead’, while at first sounding like a strange idea for an interlude, proves Kate’s real potential. Again, the simple, crude lyrics might not get her nominated for an Ivor Novello, the pure, organic vocals over clever beats indicate she’s far more than a girl in a dress with a keyboard. It’s no single (clearly), but for a split second, Kate’s howl sounds scarily like Ms. Guðmundsdóttir herself. And, taking away the North London accent, finding something like this on one of her albums would hardly come as a shock.

‘Made Of Bricks’ is a great album on many levels; there are numerous paths which Kate could take from it, paths which could mean she’s challenging Annie Lennox and Kate Bush for Brits in years to come. But the best of all, is that it’s a collection of very good songs, played in a completely unpretentious, honest way. If only more young women were like Kate Nash.

 

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