We have a confession to make… Katy B had not really been on our radar before we started listening to this album. Sadly, the more we listened to ‘Little Red’ the clearer it became why she has failed to break into the mainstream in Australia. At first we were all but convinced she was the next big thing.
Singles ‘5am’ and ‘Crying For No Reason’ are damn good. ‘5am’ manages to sound like a Robyn/Rihanna duet, mixing soulful and emotive singing over a hard dance beat whereas ‘Crying For No Reason’ is an electro Adele-esque stormer. Both songs were co-written by the brilliant Guy Chambers who co-wrote some of Robbie Williams’ biggest hits.
These two examples should pave the way for a varied, interesting album right? Nope. ‘Little Red’ is a collection of uninspiring trap-dance numbers. They are the kind of songs you can dance to mindlessly when you’re off your face, but don’t say a lot about Katy B as an artist.
Maybe that’s a tad harsh; it’s not all bad news. We like ‘Aaliyah’ in all of its ‘Jolene’-esque lyrical form, and ‘All My Lovin’ would probably be quite exciting in live form. It’s not even as if there’s anything really dire on here, even the unusual (aka strange) ‘Play’ works in a loungey kind of way. Meanwhile, the continuous mix of the album (featured on the bonus disc) seems to argue that the sum of the album as a whole is stronger than its individual songs.
Truthfully, what really disappointed us is that if we heard any of these songs on the radio, we probably wouldn’t know it was Katy B. That’s because, even as its best, ‘Little Red’ fails to be distinctive from similar dance pop albums. You should definitely try out the singles though!
Download: 5am, Crying For No Reason.