Kate Nash

My Best Friend Is You

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Kate Nash had a lot to live up to with her sophomore album. Her debut was clever and brash, a deeply personal record filled with wit and the self-made, oddball productions to match. Second album My Best Friend Is You initially sounds like a different artist entirely, almost akin to a Kate Nash imitator trying to fuse her close observation of relationships with an uptempo Northern soul of the Amy Winehouse variety. Both the opener "Paris" and the first single "Do-Wah-Doo" boast very busy but very trad productions, featuring plenty of brass and piano with insistent drumming and handclaps -- all the hallmarks of a professional production. This is pure MOR, the driving Motown-derived pop-soul that’s become de rigeur for 21st century hipness. Surprisingly, the second half of My Best Friend Is You is Nash at her best, biting and bile-filled, with productions that (finally) suit her songwriting. It's led by the jagged "I've Got a Secret," in which Nash puts on her best angelic school-girl show to drive her point home (very basically put: "You don't love me"). There are more highlights here, including "I Just Love You More," which is simple and successful, just a distorted guitar hook and Nash repeating the title until she bursts into screams for the chorus. Still, the aim over too much of this record seems to be simply getting Kate Nash airplay without worrying overly much about a musical backing that suits her songwriting.

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