So three years, one mental breakdown, and haircut later Kate Nash is back in the fray once again with her latest offering - embracing her edgy fringe-folk, street punk, riot grrl roots and renoucing the "pop" image of old.
People who actually liked the old pop -y album might not get on too well with this followup so consider yourself warned. However those, like myself, who thought Made of Bricks was overproduced, are in for an absolute treat.
"Paris", "Take me to a higher plane", "Kiss that grrl" and "Do Wah Doo" are all highly memorable, instantly catchy songs that never fail to have me singing along with a great big grin on my face! We also get treated to an angrier, punky, riot-grrl of old, side to Miss Nash with songs like "I've got a secret" and "I just love you more".
This album isn't just simple, future singles however. I agree with a previous reviewer who described it as thought provoking. A lot of the songs are clearly very introspective, and you really get the feeling that Nash is showing you little bits of her soul with each word. Her lyrics are, as always, just perfect. Mixing tongue in cheek humour with anger, frustration, heart break and romance - her ability to write songs that cut really close to the bone, to give you the words that you yourself can't quite find, makes her one of my favourites.
I have also had the privilege of seeing her on her latest 2010 tour and she literally blew me away. The amount of energy and raw passion she puts into every song is just incredible - On stage she is just spell binding to watch, from the angry defiance when performing "Mansion Song" to her amasing rendition of "Don't you want to share the guilt?" where she looked so vulnerable and almost broken. She puts so much of herself into what she's singing, and I admire her bravery to be so naked like that on an album. If any of you ever get the opportunity to see her live I would really, really recommend it because for me it added an even deeper level of meaning to a lot of the album songs.
But anyway, getting back on topic....the album is much harder to get into for the "casual listener" (god that makes me sound like a total music snob, but you know what I mean!) but it is really, really worth the extra effort of a few more listens.
One of my favourite albums this year, hands down. No contest. 5/5