The Chicago rapper’s debut falls slightly short of its explosive potential.
Natalie Shaw 2010-04-28
It's been a while since RnB, Chicago house, two-step and soul melding wunderkind Kid Sister first appeared on the dizzying Pro Nails, with Kanye West in tow. With a faded buzz and an upped ante, her debut album Ultraviolet nonetheless still proves a stand-out release, just partially for the wrong reasons. The excitement's still there, but even with an A-list of guests including Cee-Lo, Yusek, Rusko and XXXChange, the genre-fusion is too thinly veiled.
Switch Board is cringeworthy while Let Me Bang, laudibly sampling the sound of ticking time-clock on little-known computer game Super Fruit Fall, feels static rather than astonishing. "Gotta park it ready man, gotta rock it steady man / Gotta get that name on my list VIP, get heavy let me bang" is the main, dull hook, leaving Kid Sister short of her Uffie-style hipster dreams.
The fun's there, the variety's there and this Chicago starlet is certainly not lacking in charisma, but the songs lack memorability and, often, a killer chorus. Gapless sequencing between tracks makes Kid Sister's party-starting intentions all the more lucid, but her desire to show off unfortunately wins out. At first, Ultraviolet sounds buzzy for its broad intentions, but if the idea of a grower album is worrying then this is even worse – it sounds sparser with each listen. Daydreaming is a highlight, but only for its suitability in advertising syncs.
It's easy to spend the entirety of opening track Right Hand Hi – which starts so self-assuredly with the line "Hi, I'm Kid Sister" – waiting for a bassline to kick the song into the next level. This pattern is all too familiar as Ultraviolet progresses, with songs just about failing to explode. It's not until the latter part of the album that Kid Sister's best is revealed,with Get Fresh's verses recalling Lil Mama's stripped-back RnB hit Lip Gloss. Even better is the astonishing Chicago house of You Ain't Really Down, oozing with razor-sharp enunciation and fuss-free call-and-response harmonies in the chorus.
Kid Sister is certainly on the right tracks, but Ultraviolet is a sadly patchy affair.