Release Date: Jun 10, 2014
Record label: Mr. Bongo
Hollie Cook's eponymous 2011 debut was one of the better reggae releases of the past few years; follow-up Twice builds on its predecessor's lush Lover's Rock textures with a generous dose of dub-influenced bass lines and urbane Philly disco-style strings that give Cook's self-described "tropical pop" a more mature and graceful aura. Opener "Ari Up" is a tribute to the late Slits frontwoman (Cook performed with a re-formed version of the band along with her father, Sex Pistol Paul Cook, until Up's 2010 death) that marries Cook's ethereal paean with a joyous ska bounce. "99," "Desdemona" and "Tiger Balm" are ideal summertime romantic confections that sway like island breezes.
Hollie Cook’s 2011 self-titled debut was a slightly lightweight but ultimately enjoyable and modern collection of lovers rock. For her less conventional-sounding follow-up, she and producer Prince Fatty have beefed up the basslines, giving her tropical pop songs a dubby atmosphere. Opener ‘Ari Up’ is a tribute to The Slits’ late frontwoman (Cook played in the band until Ari’s death in 2010), and begins with a melody straight from a Gregorian chant.
Hollie Cook’s second album, conveniently entitled Twice, sees her foray into both the UK and international markets continue. Treating listeners to what Cook herself calls “tropical pop reggae dub”, the record resoundingly contains all four of these elements, and more. Produced by long-time collaborator Prince Fatty (on whose work Cook has sung since Survival of the Fattest), the album’s beats manage to incorporate snatches of cinematic strings, darker clubby sounds and throwback, retro moments.
Calling her music "tropical pop," singer Hollie Cook (her dad was Paul Cook, drummer with the Sex Pistols, while her mother, Jeni Cook, was a backing vocalist with Culture Club) combines the potent but laid-back rhythms of reggae and the melodies and dramatic flair of '60s girl group sounds, and delivers music that's upbeat, sensuous, and fun. Cook became an artist to watch with her self-titled debut album in 2011, which earned her gigs as diverse as an appearance on Later. .