Katy B - 'Katy's On A Mission'
Oh nicely done! No sooner had I finished moaning about all of those would-be club bangers which are just about that slightly randy feeling of being in a club, here's the next phase. The club banger which is about having a few relationship issues - with a DJ, no less - and how the music is the only thing that makes this sorry situation bearable.
Straightaway, the supply of silly macho leering has been cut off, staunched by a bandage made of pure paranoia. It doesn't matter how transformative the music may be, it doesn't stop the feeling of impending doom that comes even at the moment Katy has finally let the bass carry her away one more time.
So, rather than being a club song about a club, it's a club song about how some things only make sense in a club situation. A subtle refinement, perhaps, but an incredibly welcome one.
(Here's the video. A fairly typical day for a working pop star.)
And that's not the only welcome revelation on offer here, that central wobbly refrain, the "erupt into the rooOOoo00oom" / "sub go booOOoo00oom" bit, lingers in the mind like a family of mice lingers in quality wainscotting.
Then there's that stunning waterfall of delayed voices after the chorus. As Katy's voice descends, a swarm of reflected Katys tumbles down in her wake, setting off their own chain of collapsing echoes as they go. It's a beautiful production trick, applied to a lovely mournful melody, with smashing results (sorry, I ran out of superlatives a bit there).
And for all that she is a worried girl singing a worried song - and a song which belongs to someone else at that. Benga's 'Man On A Mission' has been hijacked for her purposes - Katy is all poise and confidence. There's no doubt that she owns this song, bringing a haughty "I'm worth better than this" to proceedings, over what could otherwise be quite an anonymous dubstep backing.
A backing which, ironically enough, I'm sure will make a LOT more sense in a club situation. *worryingly manic laugh*
Download: 22nd August
BBC Music page
Music She Wrote says: "I remembered her voice as she was the only funky house singers that could...actually...sing!"
Neon Milk says: "I'm really hoping this whole 'popstep' tag that’s whacked on any dubstep tune with a female vocal doesn't take off. These tracks deserve better than that."
Dialogue Incorporated says: "Sounding like a British Keri Hilson mixed with a touch of Lily Allen."