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on 22 August 2013
Little Boots - who divided opinion with her début album - claims Nocturnes got its name as it is "an album indebted to the night". Now a DJ as well as a songwriter and eclectic electropop performer, it's clear that her time spent away from the studio and into the club scene made a big impression on this next foray into the charts.

Both a departure and extension of her previous effort, which was heavily influenced by synthpop, Nocturnes puts one foot to the side and one foot in the past as 80's and 90's dance, eurohouse and trance collide, all filtered through modern disco and pop overtones, birthing a fantastic retro celebration with both nostalgia and futurism in mind. For example, the structure of "Shake" seems to derive from Green Velvet and Walter Phillip's "Shake and Pop", itself a reference to dance crazes of the past.

Unlike Hands, Nocturnes has - quite fittingly - darker themes and tones, characterised by moody expressions of atmospheric ambience and effects, giving an ethereal but laidback feel. Keeping with the concept, many of the songs have hopeful lyrics, brightly burning like neon-drenched rays of light illuminating the otherworldly spirit of the night evoked by the music. Even if you didn't like her first album, you should try this out; it's at once both different and the same and is sometimes as magical as the nights from which it owes so much to.
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VINE VOICEon 6 May 2013
2009's Hands was an album that had met up against a critical backlash before it had even charted in the top 10 of the UK album charts. As the story went, Victoria Hesketh had made an all out assault on the charts, somewhat turning against the long list of inspirations she had trotted out in interviews.

Perhaps chastened (though I'd suspect not) by the relative failure to conquer the charts (which saw genuine top 5 chart smash Remedy followed up by Earthquake peaking at number 84 in the UK) it seemed as if album number two would be a long time coming, as she seemingly spent most of her time touring the world as a DJ. Indeed it was somewhat of a surprise when Shake, track 4 here, surfaced with little prior warning in late 2011. It was less of a surprise when it turned out to be the kind of disco stomper that Kylie would give her right arm for.

The cliché of record label interference on the "over-produced" debut album may well be a well-worn path but there is also little doubt that taking control over her sound and concentrating on a simplified sonic production (simple in the fact of working with less people, not in terms of the sound itself) has paid off.

Whereas Hands at times seemed like a collection of great singles without a common thread, Nocturnes not only features some cracking singles but actually, shock horror, works as a cohesive album as well. The lady herself has described the album's sound as one of the "night" and it's certainly an album with at least one eye on the dancefloor.

Shake is joined by Satellite and Broken Record on the "head to the dancefloor" side of things whilst the likes of Crescendo and Strangers add a little bit of a a more melancholy air to proceedings and show that as well as the "beats", Little Boots can bring the emotion as well.

Those whose idea of Little Boots is based on Remedy may well struggle to find anything that meets their impressions on Nocturnes. Indeed, it seems like chasing a mega chart hit is a thing of the past for Hesketh and I'm no more going to turn against her for that than I would have agreed with those who suggested her debut was somehow being un-true to her roots simply because some of the songs on there did seem to be aimed squarely at the charts.

If Hands focused on getting the party started and the dance-floor filled at the start of the evening Nocturnes takes us later on into the night, keeping us going with some genuine disco-stompers, taking things down a little slow to let us get our energy back and then sending us out (with album closer Satellite) into the morning sunshine sure that we've had one hell of a night.

After the superb Hands, Little Boots took her time to get back to us, but she's done it again with another rather brilliant album.
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on 5 September 2013
I 'discovered' this album long haul from Buenos Aries - over half a day in the air and in need of something to engage the brain while I failed to sleep in cattle class. That was five days ago and I'm still waking up somewhere on a darkened Motorway heading north. While the basic ideas are elegantly light and poppy, there is plenty of nuance and variation in all of these tracks. It kept my aging ears happy picking out the details while I listened to it five times through the night somewhere over the mid-Atlantic. It's a joy to hear it now without the twin drone of jet engines vibrating through ear phones. I did try Hands briefly having heard this album but have to say that for me Nocturnes wins hands down. It is a superb collection of tracks with only one or two weaker ones where the whole set hangs together beautifully (and only the second full album I've elected to buy in ten years).
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on 23 July 2013
I like this in the same way as Daft Punk and Pet Shop Boys recent releases file under bright and smart summer pop
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on 13 October 2014
As Phil Oakey of the Human League recommended to us, Little Boots is something new but with sound roots deeply in the synth genre & with her beautifull classic voice she is obviously going to do well!
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on 20 August 2013
This is a great Album.
Where is the publicity for it.
Her first Album was massively popular
This seems to have been forgotten.
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on 17 December 2013
I really enjoyed this album, nice one Little Boots. Happy music. Looking forward to lot's more
progressive albums like this.
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on 12 November 2013
Love this album... have played it regularly since I bought it... songs are so fun and catchy... best pop album of the year!
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on 8 August 2014
Fantastic. Lots of great pop songs which get your feet tapping. Loved it.
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on 15 May 2013
I'm a huge fan of Little Boots and have waited ages for this new album. I wasn't disappointed as this contains 10 original tracks - none of which are "you've heard it before" tracks either. The music is less commercial than the first album and I wouldn't expect to see individual singles climbing high, but the album as a whole is great listening and a super "chill out" album. Boots is great performing live and I look forward to seeing these tracks performed too.
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