sun 14/08/2022

CD: Katy B - On a Mission | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Katy B - On a Mission

CD: Katy B - On a Mission

Likeable young singer from Peckham delivers lively pop tinted with club cool

Katy B has something of the everygirl about her. Part of her appeal is that, unlike Ke$ha, The Saturdays and so many other female pop stars, she hasn't embraced pole-dancer chic, nor does she appear to be gagging to be spread over the pages of Heat pondering her love life, her diet or her cleavage. Katy B is a 21-year-old from Peckham who looks like a 21-year-old from Peckham.

With girl-next-door features and a penchant for unobtrusive casual wear, she presents herself as the young woman perched by the bassbins in your local dubstep hotspot, nodding along with a satisfied smile.

As with all pop music this image is part artifice, for Katy Brien - like Amy Winehouse, The Kooks, et al before her - attended the Brit School in Croydon and is undoubtedly a shrewd biz-aware cookie, but with an album produced and co-written by dubstep stars Magnetic Man and Benga, drum-and-bass innovator DJ Zinc and London pirate-radio don Geeneus, she's also drawing on exciting musical resources rather than any tired template. Her catchy post-dubstep hits "Katy on a Mission" and "Lights On", the latter featuring Miss Dynamite, are both present and correct and the rest of the album is a polished dabble in contemporary dance music that purposefully never gets really down'n'dirty.

The smashing "Easy Please Me" is zippy synthpop of the Lily Allen variety, "Broken Record" and "Perfect Stranger" offer perky drum-and-bass flavours, and "Witches Brew" sounds like Chase and Status and Crystal Castles attempting to construct perfect pop together. Elsewhere, however, there's a slew of tastefully bouncy house tracks, Ibizan dreams reconfigured for commuter-belt wine bars. These are not a terminal problem for, in the end, On a Mission is affably likeable and may even open an unexpected gateway to less immediate electronic music for a few suburban pop fans.

Watch the video for "Katy on a Mission"

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