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Music Review

Katy B: 'On A Mission'

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Released on Monday, Apr 4 2011

Katy B 'On A Mission'
Brit-schooled Katy B - or Kathleen Brien to her mates - gained instant recognition after teaming up with seasoned dubstep producers Magnetic Man on last year's 'Perfect Stranger'. Picked up by ultra-cool London radio station Rinse FM, the Peckham-born singer has since notched up a pair of top five hits, one of which single-handedly thrust one Ms Dynami-tee-hee back into public consciousness after a six-year absence. So, is the rest of her debut up to much?

  • Preceding singles 'Katy On A Mission', 'Lights On' and 'Broken Record' have already laid a neat groundwork in treading the line between underground and commercial in an immaculate, cirque du soleil-style fashion, keeping cool 'n' credible while remaining undeniably radio-friendly.

  • The record rarely deviates from the subject of boys and clubbing, albeit from a genuine and frank perspective: annoyed at the hold a man has over her on 'Power On Me', seducing them on 'Witches Brew' with a concoction of head-spinning beats and seductive vocals, and desperate in 'Easy Please Me' to find one worth throwing shapes with - not a calling to hop into bed with her, we hasten to add.

  • Production from the likes of Geeneus, Benga and DJ Zinc is a fusion of funky house, '90s garage-pop, jungle and oh-so-trendy wobbling basslines against Katy's teen-like innocence vocals. Rather than a desperate attempt at bandwagon hopping, the fusion feels like an honest reflection of where her musical passions lie.

  • Future singles? She may have already put out four of the LP's tracks, but there are at least another four to choose from in 'Power On Me', 'Why You Always Here', 'Witches Brew', and 'Easy Please Me'.

  • The result of Katy's Mission is a collection of well-groomed songs loaded with earworm hooks, rich melodies and on-point lyrics that focus on music itself rather than honing in on a particular trend. That said, her inimitable vocal also makes a refreshing change from the current crop of robotocised acts dominating the chart, even when she's running off a list of thank yous on the closing number. Mission complete? Not a chance Katy, you've got a follow-up to be getting on with.

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