Peckham princess Katy B is well on her way to becoming the nation’s new sweetheart. The 21-year-old BRIT school alumni who invaded the Top 40 with the club ready “Broken Record” and the dub-stepped, Ms. Dynamite assisted “Lights On” – has just released her own anticipated debut album “On A Mission.”
One could compare B’s radio domination to that of Dynamite’s years ago, as Katy aims the sound of the underground at the mainstream. After spending years on pirate radio and as a guest vocalist on various tracks, for numerous DJ’s – I for one was interested to find out whether the grime could be spread successfully over a full LP.
“Silence is the sound of now, when I much prefer the bold and loud”
MOVEMENT – TRACK 5
The throbbing bass-line of the title track hits us early on the album and contrasts irresistibly with Katy’s breezy unassuming vocal. I thought “Why You Always Here” was brave purely because it’s an opening track on a mainstream album and the first vocals are not heard until almost a full minute into the two-step intro, the underground intention of the record is compounded here with a move not seen on many chart albums this side of 2005. An Ibiza sunshine tone greets us on “Movement” as a lonely, unsatisfied Katy B laments, “How we meant to move if there’s no movement?” – – – solid summer listening.
The album – ironically, considering her path to predominance – only features one guest vocalist in the form of Ms. Dynamite, who I am sure would not agree with me if I mention the idea of Dynamite almost passing her crown as Queen of the Underground to the youngster on “Lights On,” nevertheless if the song is anything to go by…the crown fits perfectly.
The 80’s computer techno, plus quirky grime synths of “Easy Please Me” – a revealing song in which Katy talks about her difficulty with men who don’t quite cut it – and the sweetly sung Magnetic Man produced “Perfect Stranger” fill up the latter quarter of the album successfully – however I can’t help but feel that maybe these tracks should have been moved up the track list.
The LP is light, slick – yet humble and feels like a cohesive whole. Katy’s vocals at times really sound pretty beautiful over the well-produced beats – you can’t help but like the girl herself and her girl-down-the-block, easy-come-easy-go persona. Her charm surfaces again as she lists the people she couldn’t have made the album without on last track “Hard To Get, “and with a cheeky laugh thanks for us all for helping her on her mission…always glad to help.
Score – – 7.5/10