Day 9 Mercury Prize – Katy B – On a Mission

14 Aug

There are some times when you write a review, that you’re reviewing the thing you are reviewing is not really up your alley. I mean to say that the thing you’re writing about you wouldn’t normally buy or go and see. This album falls under that category. I mean to say that On a Mission is something that I would never listen to. It’s dubstep, something that I hate. There’s a lot of grime elements and generally stuff that I would never want to pay attention too. She is however nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize and really shows how they’re trying to make the nominees more widespread and introduce more ‘urban’ acts.

Peckham-born Kathleen Brien, a graduate at the BRIT school in the year below Adele and Jessie J, previously auditioned for the role of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films. When she replied ‘no’ to the first question, have you read the books, they turned her down. Thought that fact was quite interesting to be honest! Hailed as the princess of dubstep, Katy B is known for bringing Dubstep and UKG to the overground. Even though I don’t like her, I have to say, she did what wasn’t really possible a couple of years ago and that was to take Dubstep to the top of the charts. Throughout the past year dubstep and grime as well as other underground genres have been increasing in terms of popularity. This can’t be all down to Katy B but I think that she’s played a key role.

Power on Me opens the curtain on the  album and introduces a disco feel to the record. There is a very friday night dancing feel to it all with some very stereotypical synth pads going through the whole song. Katy’s rather high and sustained voice is shown here and continued on the rest of the LP. On a Mission though you may not like it, will stay in you head. The chorus is contagiously catchy and the very mellow wobble bass could give you a headache. This track sums up this artist, mild dubstep mixed with top 40 pop.

Why You Always Here is a bit more funk and R&B influenced with a less catchy chorus but the same feel. If you’ve liked songs up to this point then you’ll like the whole disc. Witches Brew (which I believe to be her most recent single) is one that has a on ‘ooooooo’ hook that will get stuck in your head. It’s top 40 pop at the surface with a lot of underground inspiration at the base.

Movement is my favourite song on the album and feels a bit more like faithless and a bit less underground and it feels like there’s a bit more quality effort into this song then some of the others. If I heard the next song on the radio I would think that maybe there was a new Destiny’s Child try-hard around. It’s bit more soulful and sounds more like a group than a solo artist.

Disappear continues the theme of making someone go away quite nicely and has more of a techno vibe around it. It’s very individual, unique and one that has a lasting impression for its originality. You must’ve heard Broken Record play somewhere now whether it be on the radio, in a shop or anywhere where they play loud music. It can get you moving with its escalating vocals and beat and feels a bit more fun than the rest of the record.

The fun continues on Lights On featuring Ms Dynamite who previously won the Mercury. This song doesn’t take itself too seriously and is very repetitive and may not exhibit much talent but possibly one of the better chart songs on the radio. Easy Please Me is the most dubstep of the album being the worst on the LP. The sinking feeling of the backing track feels a bit dizzying.

Perfect Stranger starts with a slow drum-kicking beat but does the classic Garage thing of waiting for the beat to drop and then go fast. Speedy it truly is and one that you might love if you’re into this stuff. Hard to Get is more like a song playing at a modern, flashing lights, cafe in Miami. Nothing special here.

By the time Water plays it feels like she’s done all she can and there’s not much left to do. Her voice isn’t extremely versatile and after a while feels a bit like you’ve heard this beat before. The album ends on Something New which is something new. It feels like a blend of all of these songs and out pops this.

This girl is different. It’s not my kind of music but hey, at least she’s bringing something new to the table which not many people in the charts are doing right now. I’m not a fan but I think a lot of people can love this and I can see why (if that makes any sense) it’s a bit boring to me and repetitive but I expected no less.

Score: 6/10

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