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Pixie Lott - Young Foolish Happy,
This review is from: Young Foolish Happy (Audio CD)Pixie Lott's debut album "Turn It Up" was okay - but nothing special - it spawned some alright songs and managed to get her into the spotlight and also a guest-judge spot on X Factor. Now it's time for album number two - the difficult second album - and here it is: the (awfully) titled "Young Foolish Happy", and it shows a marked improvement on her debut.
"Young Foolish Happy" is an... `interesting' album - it's quite confusing to place it- or compare it to anything else, because the whole album is awash with a mix of styles and sounds. What can be said is that this album is less girly and poppy, and more urban and attitude-fuelled- there's definitely a whiff of Jesse J about this album, and there are lots of big beats, strong bass and hip-hop influences to be found. But I find, at times with Pixie Lott that she sounds like she is trying too hard and a little bit lost in this mish-mash of styles- this album would be substantially better if she honed in on one particular style she likes and made an album around that: the soul and blues influenced tracks on this album are the best ones, if she could make an album of that calibre I would have so much more respect for her.
Lead single `All About Tonight' is one of the best singles of the year and is the highlight of the album- but there is a major assortment of great tracks on the album, in a vast range of styles: "You Win" and "We Just Go On" are both delectably delicate, blues-influenced ballads which are magnificently understated in the way that (some) of Adele's stuff can be. On the flip side, there is some proper-good pop on here- `Kiss The Stars' and `What Do You Take Me For' fall into this slot - great, hip-hop/r&b influenced pop with excellent beats and bass which are wonderfully addictive- particularly `Kiss The Stars', which sounds very Sugababes-meets-La Roux-meets-Nicole Scherzinger: i.e. PROPER GOOD.
Then there are two songs which fall into the AMAZING category- `Stevie On The Radio' - featuring Stevie Wonder - I know, AMAZING - The track is, as if it could be anything else, absolutely cracking. Soulfilled vocals, simple and effective melodies and a wonderful rhythm to it. Then the second AMAZING track is "Perfect" which is an urban-laced, lilting pop mini-anthem; fabulously constructed and performed, and wonderfully understated: very very amazing.
With the good, comes the bad - tracks like `Everybody Hurts Sometimes' is an example of when a simple and understated ballad can fall flat on its face and sound an absolute mess, and `Nobody Does It Better' shows the same thing for her hip-hop influenced pop.
If you have common sense you would go for the deluxe version of Young Foolish Happy (Deluxe Edition) - IT HAS TWENTY-ONE TRACKS ON IT (Yes, 21 tracks!) and every one of those is brilliant - the bonus material is 100% excellent and it's for this reason that I don't completely hate this album. In particular, I am loving `Till The Sun Comes Out' and `Black As Rain'. The bonus material continues wonderfully on from the direction (sound-wise) of the main album, but is executed in a much clearer way - so these final tracks are definitely worth the extra.
Not bad Pixie Lott; but I know you can do better!