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Katy B - 'Katy's On A Mission'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:37 UK time, Sunday, 22 August 2010

Katy B

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*

Four stars Download: 22nd August

www.katybmusic.com
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

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."

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Like I said before on Taio Cruz, I LOVE this!
    This could be very big

    5 stars

  • Comment number 2.

    I love the vibe of this song and its getting a lot of radio 1 and dance station support . It is getting a lot of airplay too from night club dj 's , and is one of the hottest dance songs around . This song is on a mission to be a very big hit .

  • Comment number 3.

    I've given this song a while to mull over, hence why it's taken so long for me to post, and my verdict is this:

    It's going right at the top of my list of "Songs I Just Don't Get Why People Are Claiming To Be Good When In Fact They Are Rubbish".

    I've listened and re-listened... and it's like watching grass grow, essentially, it does abolutely nothing for me.

  • Comment number 4.

    Love this track! Although Benga should be given waaay more credit here as the brains behind this splendid bit of summer singalooOOooOOoong bass music.

    Also very glad to see Neon Milk being quoted above as a credible journalistic source. One step closer to my dream of being the dubstep correspondent for Newsnight.

  • Comment number 5.

    @3 you likened this song to watching grass grow?

    You must tell me where this patch of grass you were watching is Oddie, must be an incredibly euphoric, roof raising patch of grass...too much miracle grow perhaps?

  • Comment number 6.

    I'd also like to point out the genius of Fraser McAlpine in writing the chorus as "erupt into the rooOOoo00oom" / "sub go booOOoo00oom" - using capital O's for the high notes and ZEROES for the EVEN HIGHER NOTES! That's EXACTLY what it sounds like! Beethoven who? Mozart what? Fraser, you nailed it.

  • Comment number 7.

    Yes that's a great description of those brilliant chorus notes. They are pure genius anyway! So hard not to sing along to - I'm sure when performed live it'll get the crowds doing the same. The beat is insanely catchy too, as is everything else going on. Awesome tune. (forgot to post here the other week, silly me)

  • Comment number 8.

    @ 5

    LOL! That made me giggle.

    But seriously, this song is awful for me, I just don't see it's appeal, even as a mainstream song it does nothing.

 

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