Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Little Boots - Hands (Album Review)

Victoria Hesketh, aka Little Boots, floated casually across the radar of many music fans and critics during the past year, usually mentioned among the ranks of rising British popstars like La Roux, Marina & the Diamonds and Florence & the Machine. Little Boots is the first among them to release her full-length, and it seems that she's swiftly surpassing the reputations of the others.

When I first heard Little Boots, I loved “Meddle”, but her other single at the time, “Stuck on Repeat”, sounded like a Madonna/Timbaland reject and her more recent “New in Town” was mediocre at best. Truthfully, I was far more excited for the upcoming albums by Marina, Florence and the lovely French girl with the gingerswoop. Low expectations aren't always bad.

From start to finish, Hands sounds smoother than its preceding singles and EPs. The tone of “New in Town” is warmer and, although the structure of the song is the same, it's gone from mildly unpleasant to well-deserving of it's track 1 placement.

The reworked “Stuck on Repeat” is shortened by half and no longer sounds like it's...stuck on repeat. The song that hooked me the first time I heard Little Boots, “Meddle”, is mostly unchanged, with a few tweaks that give it a more polished sound.

After going over the songs I already knew and finding shocking improvements, I listened to the rest of the album. It turns out, Little Boots not only renewed the singles that led up to her album, but has even more single potential. The electro hip-hop beat of “Remedy” is sure to bring her comparisons to Madonna's last album, but really, most of that album was shallow and pale next to the inspired wonder of Little Boots.

My new favourite, “Symmetry” is a spacey synthpop duet that matches Little Boots with Philip Oakey of The Human League. At four and a half minutes, it's the longest song on the album, fitting for an dark, glimmering dancefloor track that has many years of club potential.

Overall, the album plays like Ladyhawke's debut—there are a few radio-friendly songs that will catch your ear, but this is an album to listen to as a whole. Many of the songs are exceptional on their own, but together, the album is phenomenal.


Vocal ability7.5/10
Production value8.0/10
Road-trip stimulant6.5/10
Late-night relaxation9.0/10


Little Boots - Meddle
Download MP3 (YSI) or Listen on MySpace

Little Boots - Remedy
Download MP3 (YSI) or Listen on YouTube

iTunes | Amazon MP3 UK | 7digital
Little Bootique (CD+vinyl+remixes) | Pure Groove (exclusive vinyl!) | Norman Records | Recordstore | Rough Trade


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