Thu. Jan 26th, 2023

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Album Review: Katy B – Little Red

3 min read

It’s been 3 years since Katy B released her debut self-titled album, the album that rocketed to number two on the UK Albums chart and spawned the widely popular single Katy on a Mission. Now Katy is back with Little Red, a 17-track album of danceable songs with a few gems as well as a few dull patches.

Katy B Little RedLittle Red does not mark a dramatic evolution of style for Katy B, it is in fact in very much the same vein as her debut album. Essentially, it is a bunch of well-produced dance songs, some with a little more depth than others.

The best three tracks from Little Red are 5 AM, Aaliyah (Feat. Jessie Ware) and Still. 5 AM is the album’s lead single, and for good reason. Katy’s vocals are especially clear and piercing on this track and the vocal melody is great. The song uses Valium as a simile for the kind of loving that calms you down and numbs your pain. It is a clever analogy and the chorus is very strong. Still, a song about missing a past lover also features an excellent chorus that just bursts. Aaliyah, which features fellow songbird Jessie Ware, features sparkling electronic instrumentals around the two very talented vocalists that drive the number. Again the chorus is wonderful, very catchy and melodic.

I do keep going on about choruses but it’s because there is such a contrast on this album between songs such as those mentioned above with fantastic, catchy and powerful choruses and those with choruses that are remarkably dull and let down the entire track. Two songs with particularly weak choruses are Tumbling Down and Emotions. On Tumbling Down it sounds like Katy just came up with these two words in a song-writing brainstorm session and decided to write a song around them, rather than the song springing from an emotion or more complex idea as I feel the best songs within this album do. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with this form of song-writing, but here, and on Emotions (where the key words in the chorus are simply “you fill me with emotion”), the end result is very underwhelming and quite boring.

The lyrics are also unfortunately not a strength on this album. They are often very basic and clichéd with rhymes that you can guess before they are sung. That being said, the album does have many strengths that keep things motoring along here. The production value is very high with the singer evidently bringing in the right team to help her put the album together. Katy’s voice is also very strong as heard many times as she delivers some truly beautiful melodies with great skill. What is most remarkable about this album though is that almost every song could easily become a club hit; a testament to Katy’s versatility as a performer and her ability to extend her radio-friendly pop presence into the international club scene.