Album Review: Katy B – Little Red

Katy B Little Red album cover

Katy B surpasses herself with stunning second record

Many people often talk about how the second album in a musician’s career is always a crucial moment. With this record, they need to prove they are no one hit wonder and actually here to stay. Especially when the first record is such a hit, it is hard to meet the expectations with a follow-up. For Katy B however, this did not really seem like such a big problem at all. She surprised everyone with the success of her debut On A Mission, but her new album Little Red is in a different league and might as well become a huge hit in the coming months.

Katy B managed to get some huge hit singles in 2010 with ‘Katy On A Mission’, ‘Broken Record’ and ‘Lights On’ and was officially back two weeks ago when arguably her best song to date, ‘Crying For No Reason’, entered the charts at number 5. The beautiful ballad that turns into a pumping midtempo belter, sets the tone for a more personal and emotional second album. Where her first record leant towards dubstep and UK garage, Little Red is more dance-orientated and borrows influences from deep house.

Katy starts the album greatly with the pumping beats and infectious melody of ‘Next Thing’. The most impressive aspect of this record is that basically every track is a tune. Every single song has a memorable and interesting chorus, which makes all of them stand out after just a few listens of the album. From the huge and swinging melody of ‘5AM’ to the more laidback but still insanely catchy ‘All My Lovin’’, every song has some great qualities.

On ‘Still’, a beautiful ballad, Katy shows off the wide range of her vocals. Even this slower, emotional song has a powerhouse chorus that settles in your mind immediately. She shows she still knows how to create great party tracks, which her debut was full of, on the beat heavy ‘I Like You’ and ‘Everything’. The bonus tracks ‘Hot Like Fire’ and ‘Wicked Love’, both with a drum and bass inspired rhythm are a nice contribution to an already impressive collection of songs. One of the absolute highlights of the record is the the collaboration with Jessie Ware, ‘Aaliyah’. This track was already released on Katy’s free EP ‘Danger’ in 2012. The song could be interpreted as a modern version of the story of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’, with the singers pleading to Aaliyah to leave their men alone. The production on ‘Aaliyah’ is delicious and the voices of the two ladies blend perfectly together.

It is hard to name any favourite tracks on this album as there are definitely no fillers and every song has a great chorus and a catchy melody. Katy B delivered an interesting debut album, but Little Red overclasses this record easily. Although the singer focuses more on pop, dance and house this time around, she never loses identity or personality, thanks to the more personal lyrics, and brings a collection of great tracks. Little Red is already a contender for album of the year!

Must listen: Crying For No Reason, Aaliyah, All My Lovin’, Next Thing, 5AM, Hot Like Fire, Still.

Single Review: Katy B – Crying For No Reason

Katy B Little Red album cover

Katy B warms up for highly awaited sophomore record with new single

Katy B is preparing the release of Little Red, her sophomore album which will see the light of day in February. The singer took quite some time to create this important record in her career, taking into consideration that it has been almost three years since her debut On A Mission came out. In between the albums, she gave away the free EP Danger, but this year she started releasing singles from the upcoming album. In July she released ‘What Love Is Made Of’, that just missed out on top 20 in the UK charts, but earlier this month, she reached the 14th spot with the fantastic ‘5 AM’. This week, she premiered ‘Crying For No Reason’, her brilliant new single that will be released in January, just before Little Red hits the stores.

Katy B came seemingly out of nowhere when her singles like ‘Katy On A Mission’, ‘Lights On (feat. Miss Dynamite)’ and ‘Broken Record’ all reached high places in the British charts. Now three years later, she has to achieve hit singles without the hype that surrounded her when she first emerged on the scene, which is not always easy. The great thing, however, is that her material is not at all decreasing in quality. ‘5AM’ was definitely one of the best songs she did to date, with it’s banging production and infectious chorus. New single ‘Crying For No Reason’ is actually even more impressive and should become a huge hit in the UK and around the whole world for that matter.

The song starts out as a ballad, which one would not expect from Katy, as ‘Go Away’ was the only ballad-like song on her first album. Katy’s vocals are definitely capable of carrying this kind of songs. After the first chorus, ‘Crying With No Reason’ transforms into a mid tempo song with a pumping beat and drums. The added production and instrumentation do not take away from the personal and emotional lyrics of the song. It definitely is one of the most heartfelt things Katy B has done to date and her delivery of this personal story is absolutely convincing. The song basically is about pushing away negative feelings and emotions like they do not exist, but then suddenly when you do not expect it, they hit you hard. It is incredible how Katy B turned these emotions into a catchy and strong chorus. This is the kind of song that should be sung from the heart in a club when being sad and drunk. I know I will when I get the chance.