Katy B

Little Red

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

On a Mission was eagerly anticipated and didn't disappoint. A creative synthesis of underground club sounds and pop, fronted by a seriously skilled and charismatic singer and songwriter who detailed scenes relatable to her generation, it was glowingly reviewed and almost topped the U.K. chart. Almost three years later, Katy B follows it with another intense set that features another round of collaborations with producer Geeneus. Though the supple midtempo gem "Tumbling Down" and gracefully walloping Joker co-production "All My Lovin'" are definite highlights, the album is greatly enhanced by the one-off pairings, including the rigid house track "I Like You" (George FitzGerald), the fluttering charmer "Play" (Sampha), and the swooning "Sapphire Blue" (Jacques Greene), where Katy delivers fairly standard lines about being swept away but makes them sound novel with an entrancing level of passion. The album is oddly sequenced, opening with a pair of cuts that are merely adequate, no match for the debut's one-two jolt. Those are followed by an inferior and drastically shortened mix of "Aaliyah," a midtempo duet with Jessie Ware -- regarding the envy of a woman who just happens to have the same name as the late R&B star -- originally released on a 2012 EP. Part elegantly drifting ballad, part breathless drum'n'bass track "Emotions" would have made for an excellent finale, yet it's trailed by "Still," a fine but relatively weak way to end the album. More baffling, most of the deluxe edition bonus tracks don't merely deserve to be on the standard edition -- they'd be highlights. Even with its faults, Little Red has too much going for it to be considered a second-album slump. In the wake of crossover dance acts who scored after the success of On a Mission, Katy B remains in a class of her own.

blue highlight denotes track pick