Release Date: Apr 20, 2010
Record label: Geffen
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
Kate Nash has spent the three years since achieving fame cooking up a record that's a substantial progression from the rickety kitchen-sink pop of her No 1 debut. Not only has the sound been plumped up with girl-group strings – for which thank producer Bernard Butler – she's been listening to Bikini Kill and Sonic Youth and is consequently far more daring a writer and singer. Laced with reverb and dissonance, I Just Love You More could be a product of New York's no-wave era.
Though Lily Allen (more beats-driven) and Amy Winehouse (more bonkers) have grabbed the largest market share in the British Lady Invasion, tart 22-year-old songstress Nash deserves her own spotlight. My Best Friend Is You builds on her more conventional 2008 debut, Made of Bricks, with a punchy, almost dizzying mix of garage-rock bedlam, scene-skewering snap, and sweet girl-group melodies. B+ Download These:Sly, Spector-esque ditty Do Wah Doo at amazon.comFuzzed-up rocker I’ve Got a Secret at amazon.com See all of this week’s reviews .
"Look it up on YouTube." That was Kate Nash at a gig in England last month, rejecting requests to play her biggest hit, "Foundations". Following in the virtual footsteps of similarly saucy Londoner Lily Allen, Nash first gained fans via another Web 2.0 site-- MySpace-- then graduated to the high-pressure world of UK #1 albums (2007 debut Made of Bricks), Brit awards (Best Female Artist 2008), and tabloid bullshit. Oh yeah, and she's only 22.
Schoolgirl-rock pops like Bubble Yum Kate Nash’s latest is bratty Brit-pop with a heavy accent and, at times, equally heavy subject matter. 2007’s Made of Bricks saw her puckering: “You said I must eat so many lemons ‘cause I am so bitter / I said I’d rather be with your friends, mate, ‘cause they are much fitter. ” My Best Friend is You is peppered with pettiness, too, but it’s a little more grown-up—and way more amped-up.
Nigh on three years have breezed by since a certain 19-year-old shot up the charts with a whip-smart song about a relationship crumbling like make-up at the end of a long night. But our [b]Gaga[/b]-dominated times feel like a world away from [b]‘Foundations’[/b] and the time Kate and chum [b]Lily Allen[/b] ruled the roost, with their thoroughly British kind of pop: no frills, just lyrics loaded with savage wit and a killer way with an interview to win over the kids. Meanwhile, it seems Ms Nash has been cocooned away with an ever-expanding record collection to devour, emerging now as a rather wiser and more assured butterfly.
After the best part of a decade spent idly predicting such things, Kate Nash’s second album My Best Friend is You is probably the first record I've ever listened to and felt completely unable to work out whether or not it is likely to have any commercial or critical appeal. I am pretty certain the answer to both questions is likely to be either ‘loads’ or ‘none’, though I doubt even the most battle-hardened sociologist will ever exactly be able to tell you why, exactly. So yeah: My Best Friend Is You includes a rap track.
Little Boots and Pixie Lott may have come along and stolen some of her thunder among the recent spate of London-by-way-of-MySpace pop ingénues, but Kate Nash’s sophomore effort, My Best Friend Is You, proves that she’s still the best of the lot when it comes to balancing her pop hooks with a compelling persona. On her debut, Made of Bricks, that balance resulted in some fantastically catchy pop tunes loaded with cutting contemporary slang and an impulse toward destruction. But on Friend, Nash’s serrated edges cut far closer to the bone and her songs are as likely to be deconstructed as they are to be radio-friendly.
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.
Kate Nash is going to extremes to shed that cutesy, lovelorn teen image she courted when her single Foundations became an out-of-nowhere hit a few years ago. Case in point: the beat poet blast of Mansion Song, where Nash lets fly a hefty dose of "fucks" while railing against sexism in rock. It's a jarring yet commanding song that reflects Nash's newfound interest in the riot grrrl era.
At the end of "Don't You Want to Share the Guilt" Kate Nash screams, "Not being able to articulate what I want to say drives me crazy!" This is just one outburst in a sophomore album full of stream-of-conscience rants that help brand her as the girl we all wish we cold be—funny and brutally honest, even when plowing though life's emotional cesspools. My Best Friend Is You finds Nash, a perpetual Peter Pan, returning to the same self-deprecating source material that made her debut such an awkward yet admirable attempt at self-exploration. While it's clear that Nash's skills have advanced light years since Made of Bricks' bang-it-out musicality, one can't help but wish she'd finally figure out what the hell it is she's trying to say.
Nash is at her best when she combines her strongest suits, humour and vulnerability. Johnny Sharp 2010 It can’t be easy going out with a rock star. It certainly doesn’t seem to have done Kate Nash any favours. If you jump to the obvious conclusion from the unsisterly thoughts and romantic jealousy running through several songs on this second album, she’s had a hard time dealing with the attention lavished on her boyfriend, Cribs singer Ryan Jarman.