She might bang on to the likes of The Guardian about how ‘ard it’s been living on the fringes of society after a brutally middle-class Jamaican upbringing but hard-luck stories aside this has to be one of the best debut albums from a magically complex talent in a long time. Dripping with smart and sexy poetry and showcasing one of the finest oboe riffs on record, tracks like ‘The Key’ pack an emotional punch in an increasingly crude and superficial world. And so creamy smooth with it. And ‘Searching’ – with its skittish, butterfly beats and rhymes is equally lush.
New single ‘Go The, Bye’ attempts to pick the lock on the success of urban tourists like Lily Allen, but for me there’s unlikely to be another song that more painfully recalls the anger, loneliness and frustration of breaking up better than ‘Dry Your Eyes’ by The Streets. It’s all in there you see; the tightening of the chest, staring at the ground, proper sorry frown, the creeping anger and making yourself look a complete w*nker in pursuit of a re-think. No amount of strings and open-heart surgery rappin’ can ever be a substitute for a line like ‘the more I pull hand and say the more you pull away’.
Gripes aside though, there’s enough pizzicato strings, brushes and ivories to tickle even the frostiest of hearts and ‘Wheels In Motion’ with Roots Manuva is like little Orphan Annie being embraced by her ganga bearing spiritual father for the very first time. And ‘Live and Learn’ (featuring Tunng’s Mike Lindsay) is pure avante-class.
A bit like M.I.A jazz loving, bongo bashing, beat niking younger sister. Lovely.share this: