The fifth EP from Victoria Hesketh aka Little Boots, 2014's Business Pleasure, showcases more of the British singer's arty if still club-ready electronic pop. The album follows up her 2013 sophomore full-length album Nocturnes and 2009 debut Hands. It is also the first release on her own newly minted On Repeat Records. As such, while it still retains all of Hesketh's moody, synth-heavy inclinations, Business Pleasure is a new start of sorts for the Blackpool native, and feels imbued with a renewed sense of purpose. Working with a handful of producers including Simian Mobile Disco's Jas Shaw, Com Truise, and Chris Carmouche (who previously helmed collaborations with Janelle Monáe, Major Lazer, and others), Hesketh has crafted a short-player full of arch, icy midtempo anthems in which she proclaims her autonomy, whether it be creative, financial, or sexual. As she sings on the title track, "I'm not your girl in the machine/I won't give up on my daydream." Similarly, she takes the double irony of the album's title even further on the sensual, exotic "Taste It," in which she both celebrates her independence from her former record label and chides herself for having been deluded into a false sense of career happiness. She coos, "I'm off the chain and you're the link/They've got your heart between the teeth/Too good to be true to dream/Wake up and smell the saccharine." And while Hesketh is certainly earnest in her lyrical intent, there's a subtle cheekiness and eye-winking camp to Business Pleasure, as if she's having fun with the idea of donning her '80s power suit and running her own company like a diet soda-drinking, stiletto-wearing diva. Ultimately, on Business Pleasure, by trusting her own business and creative instincts, Hesketh has delivered a smart feminist synth pop manifesto.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar