Album Review: Little Boots – "Hands" (5/5)

Victoria Hesketh’s album, “Hands” – wait. Little Boots might be more appropriate. Yeah. Little Boots’ album “Hands” has been one of the most anticipated pop debuts of the year. To formally introduce you to the wonderful Little Boots, here’s something about her that many of you still don’t know.

Little Boots’ real name is Victoria Hesketh and hails from the town of Blackpool in England. She was proclaimed the winner of the annual BBC Sound of 2009 Poll last year and since then has released 2 EPs titled “Arecibo” and the eponymous “Little Boots EP” which contains tracks such as her first single, “Stuck on Repeat” ,”Meddle” and “Love Kills”. Now, after her debut single, “New In Town” debuts inside the top 15 of the UK Singles Charts she’s back for the release of her major label debut album titled “Hands” which features tracks composed by her and with help of big recording industry personalities such as Greg Kurstin, RedOne and Joe Goddard.

Many have been questioning about this lass’ musical identity, whether she ventures to the pop ambiance of girl groups such as Girls Aloud or the electronic hype of Australian pop diva, Kylie Minogue. Well, the result is at least very much appealing. With no bars held, she contours to different musical styles but mainly exercising her abilities in the electro pop section with her unbreakable synthesisers, out of this world instruments and her magical little vocals.

Hesketh started to record the album in Los Angeles way back in the early jump start of 2008 and teamed-up with major LA producers such as Greg Kurstin (him again) and RedOne (them again). The result of the over-hyped effort is a staggering electro-pop record that labels “Hands” as one of the best pop debuts this year.

When you first start playing the CD, “New in Town” comes up with an assertion of an already well-crafted pop record. With its glorious synths, Victoria Hesketh talks about being accommodating about a newbie. The track was said to be inspired by her first travel to Los Angeles and her acquaintances during her recording journey.

An astounding pop debut definitely has its own defining moments. Since I’ve already described it as a staggering pop debut, “Hands” has its own set of glorious pop tracks. “Remedy”, “Symmetry” which is a duet with Philip Oakey, and “Meddle”. Although the latest has been available in various formats, I’d describe it as a set pacer. With its electro-crunky beats it challenges many signature production styles which we have/had heard during the past years. Its brilliance is quite frank that it’s actually one those tracks that could never hit #1 but can produce a million downloads.

“Remedy” another defining moment, ravels into the place where Lady GaGa is best. With a stunning collaboration with hit makers “RedOne”, “Remedy” is one of the tracks that actually made Hesketh’s voice more audible than the others. It has an infectious chorus that can take any dance clubs any time by storm. I’m pretty sure once this is out there will be floods of remixes from big club hitters.

Well, the album’s best moment, chosen by me is the collaboration with The Human League singer, Philip Oakey (which I weirdly refer to as Oakenfold, but I don’t know why). “Symmetry” gives every track in the album a run for their own money. Subtle verses evolving into magical choruses that just beat everything on the side, the combination of Philip and Hesketh’s vocals are exceptional. Speaking of greatness, I wonder how La Roux (Elly Jackson) would challenge this in a very competitive way.

But unfortunately, the album has its own downside moments. Although most of the tracks are equally commendable, some of the tracks especially in the latter part of the album might be too overly done that the rhythms overpowered Victoria Hesketh’s vocals making it sound like just an accompaniment. Having said that, “Hands” is still one heck of an album. Victoria Hesketh may still be under that spotlight, her impending fame will come through and she’ll be in it with flying colours.

To sum up the album in one word: “PHENOMENAL”. Did I say the word “Hands” too much? LOL.
RATING: 5/5 (i know, i know, I barely give perfect ratings. Deal with it.)

RELEASED: June 8, 2009 (UK), June 9, 2009 (USA)

KEY TRACKS: “Symmetry”, “Meddle”, “New In Town”, “Remedy”




Filed under Album Reviews

8 responses to “Album Review: Little Boots – "Hands" (5/5)

  1. Nikki

    Out of curiosity and because of your review I listened to 'New In Town' but I don't know – I haven't heard anything special with the melody yet, I personally don't like the song. Although I do commend her for what she's doing, like you said she's like a mix of GA and Kylie but I do think she's made something different.

    She might appeal to me in a few months but for now, I'm not the biggest fan.

  2. J.Mensah

    WOW! Ken. could this be the best review you've ever written? this is a BRILLIANT write-up. well done 🙂

    Gosh, VERYONE is talking about LB now.

  3. Yuяi

    I think 5 stars is very appropriate for this album. One of the best of the year!

  4. Ken

    Re: Nikki

    I don't know why you still don't love her after "NIT". I think it's a brill pop song and should be a grower on you in no time.

  5. Ken

    Re: J. Mensah

    Yeah. I think so. I'm so fascinated with the album and I kept on playing it all the time.

    YOu should defo check out her music NOW!!!

  6. Ken

    Re: Yuri

    Yeah. I do think so. She's awesome and her album can prove to that.

  7. Adem With An E

    Killer review for one of the years biggest records. This is every bit deserving of all five marks out of five you've (rightfully) given it.

  8. dekks

    'Hearts Collide' sounds so nice.. 😀

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