Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Album Review: Made of Bricks

Kate Nash has had lots of hype on blogs and in the indie genre in general. Her debut Made of Bricks was released back in August in the UK, but it dropped today here in the US. I was fairly excited to listen to this new artist that was receiving fairly good reviews from fairly reliable sources, but once I gave it a listen I realized it was just fair. This Regina Spektor wannabe failed to impress me. Almost every song on the album is about how she hates some guy, or she is in “love” with some guy, but she can’t have him. On the man-hater side of the album, she is just a bitch, and an inarticulate one at that. The first single from the album, “Foundations,” is an assault on a guy that she is with who annoys her and makes her completely unhappy. Some lyrics are quite shocking, “Then you’ll call me a bitch/ and everyone we’re with will be embarrassed/ but I won’t give a shit.” While others, like the chorus, are ill structured.

“My fingertips are holding on to the cracks in our foundation/ and I know that I should let go, but I can’t”

Why can’t you let go, Kate Nash? Is it because you love him? Because you are scared he will kill you? Because an eleven foot gorilla is holding you at gunpoint? Please, develop your lyrics before you sing them, Kate. Oh, and “Dickhead” has the lyric “Why ya bein’ a dickhead for?” as the oh-so-eloquent motif. Please.

While she has her many weak points, I can find some light in her catchy, radio-friendly music. She also has some more mature songs. The first is a song about a misunderstood little girl, who does not fit into her world at all. “Mariella,” tells the story of a rebellious young girl, who is too mature for her own good. Another high point is the gentle, earnest, but also selfish “Nicest Thing.” Nash sings about a man, who she knows would be perfect for her. Her vulnerability is palpable in her lines  “I wish the way I smile was your favorite kind of smile,” but her love is almost suffocating, “I wish without me you couldn’t eat.” This genuineness is what makes the song work however, because she is singing what she really feels, and not what others think she should. The highlight of the album musically is the closer, “Little Red.” This song is truly beautiful. Told from the point of view of Nash’s perfect man, woos this girl who is disenchanted with her current state. This new man comes to rescue her from her mundane, moldy life.

“Come on with me and we'll have a little fun/ It's not too dangerous, yeah, and we won't hurt anyone/ Yeah, we'll cause some havoc between the birds and the bees/ We'll paint the  town red and we'll shake the trees.” 

With her easily digestible lyrics and pop-culture whetting melodies, I am sure Kate Nash will find her niche in high school drama queens and mix stations across the country.

Nicest Thing - Kate Nash

Little Red - Kate Nash

I give Made of Bricks a Thin Frenchman Moustache+ (2.5 out of 5)


bo said...

Needs more Regina Spektor.

Sounds generic.

Tim Pfeiffer said...

good review, nash is very "okay" and "blah".