If you're going to spend over three years putting together a pop album, you might as well make sure it's packed with hooks and hits, which Little Red undoubtedly is.
It's gone straight in at Number One, of course, and a lot of those purchases will have been of the Deluxe version - which is well worth the extra spend, for the extra tracks, sure - but mainly because the continuous mix of re-ordered tracks, and occasionally reworked versions really does compensate for the more mainstream vibe of Little Red overall (compared with its predecessor, On A Mission).
Best of all, it hints at the proper housed-up treats we can look forward to when MONSTER tracks like Aaliyah and I Like You get the remix treatment, as I think we can expect they will.
Katy's duet with Jessie Ware manages to be hypnotic, with a killer chorus, swirling, insistent self-vocalled backing, AND suberbly produced, with interesting, stripped-down electro sounds, yet this is the one that we'll be hearing on daytime radio in ten years' time. And when Jessie's deliciously chilly, semi-detached solo comes in, an already instant hit becomes twice as effective, just like that - hope it gives her the international profile SHE's been denied up to now.
You've heard 5am and Crying For No Reason, so no need to tell you about those - both very strong. Where both the regular version of Little Red and the continuous mix fall down a little bit for me (but, I'm sure, NOT for millions of downloaders worldwide) is where the production and vocals get a bit - whisper it - Rihanna-ish. I'm talking about All My Loving, Emotions, Hot Like Fire, Still and Wicked Love. On the bonus disk, most of these are shoved on towards the end.
I Like You, on the other hand comes across like Show Me Love (Robyn S) Part 2 - pure mid-90s bliss. Blue Eyes is two-step heaven with a sassy, fun lyric and Sky's The Limit (you'll have to buy the Deluxe version, pop-pickers) is a classic, defiant break-up song with a...err, sassy, fun lyric. Remixed expertly enough (and she 's barely put a foot wrong so far), I reckon that could even be another single - although I love it just as it is (I don't know how many of you reading this will remember Cathy Dennis as a singer, rather than a songwriter - LOL). Special mention also to Play (feat. Sampha) and the shimmering, melodic Sapphire Blue.
VERY hard to predict how many singles could be milked from this album though. Might be a lot! In a recent interview, Katy said that when she goes to Brixton McDonalds in the wee small hours, `I still do it, but I pull my hoodie up a bit more.'
Don't think you're going to have much time for that for the next couple of years, luv - your feet won't be touching the ground long enough ;o)