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-day-fly 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.

Single Review: Katy B – 5 AM

Katy-B-5am

Katy B releases another future club hit

Katy B had her big break in the United Kingdom in 2010, when she suddenly scored big hits with her first singles ‘Katy On A Mission’ and ‘Lights On (feat. Miss Dynamite)’. Her debut album On A Mission became a success as well and after a lengthy promotion with five single releases, she started working on new material. Last year she already gave us a free EP and a few months ago she released ‘What Love Is Made Of’, the first single from her sophomore album. Now she is trying to get another huge hit with the strong new single, ‘5 AM’.

Ever since her first release, Kathleen Brien, Katy’s real name, is known for her typical musical style, mixing all kinds of electronic music with big pop choruses. On her debut album, she was influenced by dubstep and UK garage, but her Danger EP and the single ‘What Love Is Made Of’ seemed to be more inspired by electro and dance. The same goes for ‘5 AM’, while there is also a hint of House to be heard on this record.

‘5 AM’ deals with Katy B, alone in a night club, looking for love. At first she is flirting around, but then she realizes she needs some real loving ‘to calm her down’. This story is told over a thrilling production full of pumping beats. The song sounds like it could be a big club hit. Katy’s vocals shine as always and the chorus has a very strong melody. ‘5 AM’ is not the most instant thing she has ever released, but it literally grows on you with every listen. This is the sort of song that gets you hooked more and more, every time you hear it. In terms of sound, the song is not miles away from her tracks ‘Aaliyah (feat. Jessie Ware)’ and the single ‘What Love Is Made Of’, but at the same time ‘5 AM’ sounds like the biggest hit out of these three. While the other two are great tracks, ‘5 AM’ should be able to do a better job at setting the charts and the clubs on fire.

The video, directed by Ronan Pollock, is very effective in bringing the song to another level. It features Katy B at a creepy party that might remind you of the movie Eyes Wide Shut. A great looking Katy convinces with her dance moves and facial expressions, surrounded by high class people wearing masks or looking hypnotized. The creepy feel of the video actually matches brilliantly with the exciting production of the song. ‘5 AM’ is a convincing attempt at another club- and radio hit and it would be great if Katy manages to get some success across Europe as well. I, for one, would love to dance to ‘5 AM’ at a club in my city!

Little Red, the new album by Katy B, will be released in early 2014.

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Katy B brengt nieuwe potentiële clubhit uit

Katy B brak in het Verenigd Koninkrijk plotseling door met de grote hits ‘Katy On A Mission’ en ‘Lights On (feat. Miss Dynamite)’. Haar debuutalbum On A Mission werd ook een succes en na een lange promotieperiode met vijf single-releases begon Katy te werken aan nieuw materiaal. Vorig jaar trakteerde ze haar fans op een gratis EP en eerder dit jaar verscheen de nieuwe single ‘What Love Is Made Of’. Nu heeft ze haar zinnen gezet op een nieuwe grote hit met de sterke single ‘5 AM’.

Al sinds haar eerste release staat Kathleen Brien, zoals Katy eigenlijk heet, bekend om haar typische stijl, waarmee ze allerlei elektronische muzieksoorten mixt met grote poprefreinen. Op haar debuutalbum liet ze invloeden vanuit dubstep en UK garage horen, maar op de Danger EP was ze meer geïnspireerd door dance en electro. Dit laatste geldt ook voor ‘5 AM’, al leent deze single ook wat kenmerken van House.

‘5 AM’ gaat over Katy B alleen in een nachtclub, op zoek naar liefde. Eerst flirt ze wat om zich heen, maar al snel realiseert ze zich dat ze echte liefde nodig heeft om ‘te kalmeren’. Dit verhaal wordt verteld bovenop een interessante productie met sterke beats. Het lied klinkt dan ook als een clubhit. Katy’s stem komt mooi uit op de track en het refrein beschikt over een zeer aanstekelijke melodie. ‘5 AM’ is niet een track die je bij de eerste luisterbeurt helemaal inpakt, maar het groeit snel. Per keer dat je het lied hoort, raak je er meer verslaafd aan. Wat betreft de sound is ‘5 AM’ geen wereld van verschil met tracks als ‘Aaliyah (feat. Jessie Ware)’ en ‘What Love Is Made Of’, maar toch klinkt de nieuwe single een stuk hitgevoeliger. Hoewel de andere twee ook goede tracks zijn, moet het voor ‘5 AM’ mogelijk zijn uit te groeien tot een hit in de charts en de clubs.

De video, die werd geregisseerd door Ronan Pollock, is zeer effectief en brengt het lied naar een hoger niveau. In de clip zien we Katy op een onheilspellend feestje, wat doet denken aan de film Eyes Wide Shut. Katy ziet er prachtig uit en overtuigt met haar dansmoves en expressie, tussen de gemaskerde of gehypnotiseerde feestgangers. Het creepy element van de video past perfect bij de spannende productie van de song. ‘5 AM’ zou moeten kunnen overtuigen als radio- en clubhit en het zou helemaal mooi zijn als haar succes zou weten over te waaien naar de rest van Europa. Ik zie het wel zitten om een dansje te wagen op ‘5 AM’ in een club hier!

Little red, het nieuwe album van Katy B, verschijnt begin 2014.