Monday, April 19

Kate Nash - My Best Friend Is You (Review)

. Monday, April 19

When Kate Nash unleashed ‘I Just Love You More’ on an unsuspecting public it took everybody by surprise. In what feels like a love letter to Sonic Youth and Sleater Kinney Nash spends three minutes screeching and thrashing her guitar, coming out the other side to raised eyebrows and expectations.

‘I Just Love You More’ is still the most WTF? moment on ‘My Best Friend Is You’, Kate Nash’s second album however whilst we don’t quite get a collection of distorted alt.pop howls it’s immediately clear that Kate Nash has grown as both a song writer and a woman.

‘My Best Friend Is You’ avoids the rushed feeling that ‘Made Of Bricks’ had in 2007. This time around there is no Lily Allen bandwagon to jump on nor does this second album have one song which shines brighter than the rest like ‘Foundations’ did first time out. What Nash presents here is a collection of songs indebted to 1960’s girl group sass and 1990’s Riot Grrrl attitude. Nash leaves herself open for criticism and it’s safe to say that ‘My Best Friend Is You’ struggles to match its influences however, in taking that risk Nash has shown a degree of bravery that so very few of her contemporaries can even dream of.

The temptation to deliver eleven slightly different versions of ‘Foundations’ has been wisely ignored with Nash regularly wandering into unknown territory. Delivered half in John Cooper Clarke style spoken word and half in a bewitching chant ‘Mansion Song’s tale of a groupie being ‘fucked’ by a rock star amidst ‘cold showers’ and ‘dirty knickers’ is the albums stand out moment. Fans of older material like ’Mouthwash’ are not ignored entirely either with plenty of twee, piano based pop songs for girls in pretty dresses to fall in love with. The disparity and juxtaposition between the sugary sweet, radio friendly tracks such as ‘Kiss That Grrrl’ and ‘Do-Wahh-Doo’ against ‘Mansion Song’ and the demented anti-folk of ‘I Hate Seagulls’ is what makes this such a convoluted but intriguing mix of songs.

What Kate Nash has chanced upon with ‘My Best Friend Is You’ is her most honestly adolescent moment yet. Socially aware and keen to impress a degree of maturity but not quite yet having the eloquence to do so she has made an album of half realised attempts at intellect and some well meaning but cringe worthy emotional honesty. Establishing herself as an outspoken voice for a gaggle of young girls, she is a rare voice that isn’t afraid to tackle topics beyond partying and drinking. By being this anti-Ke$ha figure there is even more room for Nash to grow and hopefully discover her own truth.


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