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Album review: Little Boots – ‘Nocturnes’

Little Boots – Nocturnes

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Buy: Nocturnes

Who is Little Boots?
Real name Victoria Hesketh, Little Boots is the electro-pop singer/producer who arrived all guns blazing in 2009 – topping that year’s BBC ‘Sound Of’ poll (ahead of Florence, White Lies and Mumford & Sons, amongst others) and gatecrashing the top 5 with debut album Hands.

What do I need to know about Nocturnes?
Despite the immediate success of Hands, it hasn’t made much of a lasting impression and the critical response (for what that’s worth ;-)) was pretty lukewarm – which might explain why this follow-up has taken so long.

Since the heady days of 2009 Little Boots has split with her record label and hunkered down with former DFA honcho Tim Goldsworthy to record Nocturnes

What’s the verdict?
As you may have guessed from the title, Nocturnes is very much a ‘night-time’ album. The tone shifts from dark and moody to sensual, atmospheric and downright funky – and at all times plays out like the kind of ultra-slick and edgy pop album that Girls Aloud would have killed for.

The hypnotic opener ‘Motorway’ gets Nocturnes off to a cinematic and very classy start. Right away it feels like a more textured and composed album than Hands, a feeling which is confirmed with the poised pop of ‘Confusion’.

Lead single ‘Broken Record’ is a dramatic and attention grabbing blast of rumbling electro-pop, but even that is overshadowed by the glorious ‘Shake’ – which, despite being two years old, still sounds more ‘current’ than most of what gets labelled ‘pop’ these days.

‘Beat Beat’ takes the album down a brief 70’s disco glam corner, before we’re back in beguiling pop territory with ‘Every Night I Say A Prayer’.

Also worthy of a mention is the album closer ‘Satellite’ – which sounds like a massive Goldfrapp-esque summer hit in the making.

Conclusion
Roping in Tim Goldsworthy as producer has obviously helped Little Boots channel her vision into a cohesive whole, with Nocturnes sounding like an album from an artist at the peak of her powers. It’s not perfect, but it’s not far off it.

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