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  • Hands
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4.4 out of 5 stars
88
4.4 out of 5 stars
Hands
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 13 May 2017
My favorite CD ever
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 October 2009
As an old Glam/Punk/Rock/Electronica fan largely bored with contemporary guitar music, I find myself listening to poppy female singers a lot more these days. Goldfrapp, Roisin Murphy (whose 'Overpowered' was one of the most underrated albums of recent years), Amy Winehouse, all of these ladies turn my sonic head, and of the current crop of New Synth Girlies, Little Boots is in my view the mix most likely to succeed.

Yes, Lady Gaga is a bit more down and dirty (and a bit too dancey maybe, despite her admirable willingness to alter arrangements live), La Roux is trendier (but a tad thin and desperate-sounding live), but Little Boots shows more signs of producing front-rank material.

Forst of all, Victoria Hesketh plays her own synths a lot of the time - and if you listen closely to a track like 'Remedy', there are some suprisingly dirty noises in there. These Kylie comparisons have got to go, as LB is not a copyist ex-TV star, but a real musician. There are hints of early (pre-dancing girls) Human League here and even some of the lurching fizz of John Foxx.
She writes a decent lyric too, at times - 'Remedy' has some clever words as well as sterling pop melody - but there is far too much reliance on the cliches of 'heart' 'heart beats' and so on. Given time and work, we'll hopefully see more original lyrics from Victoria (the song about Maths has some cracking, almost Robert-Calvert-Hawkwind style lyrical flourishes), then she really will be the a girl from the Roxy Music sleeves come to life.

Despite the odd weak track, I like this album, which shows great promise. However, avoid the awful piano-led 'hidden' track at the end, which is too close to the excrable Lilly Allen or that Kate Whatsit for comfort. Little Boots, keep going hardcore with the dirty synths, don't get too dancey, and dig your head into books on Futurism, The Weimar Republic and Berlin Era Bowie/Iggy/Kraftwerk while downloading John Foxx' 'From Trash' onto your ipod, avoid rappers and videos filled with dance-routines and you'll be much more than a pop star. Go for it girl, we need more Electro-Glitter-Glam Queens and fewer dull disco divas.
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VINE VOICEon 7 June 2009
Perhaps it shouldn't surprise me that the Little Boots "backlash" has kicked off before her debut album has even reached the shops. In fact, let's be honest, it kicked off before her debut single had even reached the shops...and then blew up when New In Town failed to reach the top 10. The problems seems to be as thus; the BBC voted her as the Sound of 2009, she's quite a pretty girl and the height of her ambition seems to be to make catchy pop songs in a world where "pop" is still a dirty word.

Well no one seemed to pour as much vitriol into slamming 2008's "Sound" winner (the dull and derivative Adele) nor 2007's winner (Mika), nor 2006's (Corrine Bailey Rae) and if anyone can tell me that any of that trio are particularly inventive or ground breaking you will be lying through your teeth.

Of course half the journalists slamming her purely for winning that poll forget that it's partly voted for by their brethren, nor do they slate Florence And The Machine (who have two single releases under their belt that never threatened the top 40) who won that Brit award, which really is shameless publicity to the 'n'th degree. But silly me, Florence is a "serious" musician isn't she?

Well with that diatribe out of the way, what is Hands actually like? Well as far as I'm concerned it's really rather good. Obviously some tracks that have been knocking around for months (Stuck On Repeat, Meddle, Mathematics) set the bar pretty high but they are far from the only highlights. Having Phil Oakey duet on the shimmeringly wonderful Symmetry might seem like a gimmick but it not only works, but exceeds all expectations, Tune Into My Heart, with it's icy, mellow sound proves that she's far from a one trick pony whilst upcoming single Remedy is the sort of song that Kylie would kill her producers for.

And therein lies the crux. The pompous music snobs out there will spend the next few months telling us everything that Little Boots isn't (and crucifying her for it) rather than focusing on what Little Boots IS.

The solo credits for a couple of the tracks (Click, Ghosts) show that the choice of producers on the other tracks are just that, a choice and haven't necessarily been forced upon her. At least half the tracks on here are superb and the other half aren't half bad either. Jam packed with catchy and memorable choruses it will do little to convince those that think "pop" is a dirty word and those who kid themselves that "promotion" and "hype" are 21st century inventions in the music industry. Yet despite the hype, the pressure and the (perhaps) inevitable backlash, Victoria Hesketh has proved that all of those of us who kept the faith when all around seemed to be laying into her were right all along. She's definitely a talent. Hands may not be a perfect record, but is a very damn good one nevertheless.
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on 17 September 2009
just get this one. some say it sounds a little girly and mindless pop like in places but if you listen to the full and polished sound and well written lyrics you will find the songs are much better than a lot of similar sounding stuff. songs like remedy pump out a driving rythm , sound style and lyric that is classic songwriting. other highlights for me are ghost and meddle, decidedly off the wall versions of "elecktro pop" as its called and are a brave and well done alternative to some safer stuff destined only to make money made by other artists. little boots i thank you !!!!!
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on 20 December 2010
I remember first hearing her gorgeous music, and I was honestly on the fence whether to get the cd. I then heard many of her songs while shopping, and then my mind was made up to definitely purchase. She has a very gorgeous and one of a kind voice. I really love how the songs were creatively selected to showcase her wonderful voice. You definitely get your money's worth on this cd because many of the songs are very exciting, joyful, and unique. This collection invokes euphoric feelings within me every time I listen to it. Many who listen to these songs are going to come away with a sense of an emotional boost. My personal favorites in this cd are "Remedy", "Symmetry","No Brakes" and "Hearts Collide". "Remedy" discusses how she is going to resist temptation with her cures (music and dancing). It is a good song because music and dancing are healthy choices to increase one's fullfillment levels. "Symmetry" is a musical number where the singer does a good duet with the lead singer of Human League. Her and Human League's lead singer sound harmonious together. "No Brakes" is about how love can overtake you at unexpected times. "Hearts Collide" is a very beautiful and catchy song about how a person wants to proactively pursue the one they are attracted to. My two favorite songs on the cd are "Hearts Collide", and "Remedy". The woman singing these songs on this cd has a very beautiful voice to go with the many melodic and smooth songs in this collection. I definitely agree that this is one of the best cds of 2010. If you crave good music to add to your collection from 2010 then this definitely is a cd to add. She deserves to attract more attention in America because she is that talented.
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on 24 August 2010
After several weeks of having discovered this album, my headphones must feel like they are just that. I have not stopped listening to this, every song is a pleasure for my ears. How many people today have actual talent, because this girl certainly does. To summarise, Little Boots may only have small feet, but with talent like this, she has certainly created some very big shoes that will be hard to fill
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on 9 March 2010
am a forty something bloke who has not bought anything since the missions last album who happened to catch little boots on bbc eye player with the all time music great gary numan and was so impressd with her i bought her album the next day.it was like hearing toyah /wilde back in 81 .what a throwback my teenage niece thought i was sad but there you go i have turned into my dad!
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on 10 May 2009
Finally Little Boots' debut album has been released! As a long-term fan, in as much as I've been waiting six months for her debut, I already knew a lot of the songs on here - and was so pleased to discover that every track on the album is as great as I'd hoped.

Victoria Hesketh (singer songwriter and a.k.a. Little Boots) is a breath of fresh air to the airwaves. Her music feels modern and experimental, whilst at the same time there is also a definite nostalgia there for the pop rather than dance focussed synth of the 90s. Take the electronic side away and you get something fairly reminiscent of Saint Etienne mixed with Dubstar. Listening to the album as a whole for the first time it also brought back memories of the Human League, so when Phil Oakley's voice suddenly came in on the fantastic duet Symmetry, I thought I must have died because I suddenly found myself transported to musical heaven. This is a great album from start to (hidden track) finish. All the songs are catchy pop/synth numbers with some really great hooks to them, and I can see this album being really big really soon.

If you want to hear more of the tracks before you buy, check out the Little Boots website - as Victoria makes really great use of homemade videos. Not just that, but she's great live and treats her fans with the utmost generosity and respect. Strong contender for pop album of the year.
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on 8 November 2009
Hands is one of the most refreshing, uplifting and infectious debut albums I've heard in a very long time. Ignore the pointless comparisons to La Roux or Lady Ga Ga - this is no one-off wonder or retro throwback album. Yes, it does have a certain early 80s feel to it in places, thanks to the use of vintage synth sounds, but it offers so much more, totally blowing the aforementioned right out of the water.

Here is genuinely a talented young lady - not only a great vocalist and highly skilled keyboard player, but a fantastic and creative lyricist - evident on tracks such as "No Breaks", the clever "Mathematics" and the superb duet with Phil Oakey, "Symmetry" - clearly the highlight of the album, which also reminds us what a stunning vocalist Oakey still is. Sadly the singles such as "Remedy" and "Earthquake" do give a slightly misleading impression of the album, although as they have proven, they clearly have a commercial and contemporary edge.

Hands is a fantastically produced album. There's a real depth to the music and lots of smooth layers of sound to enjoy, with Victoria Hesketh's sublime vocals remaining centre stage. Only perhaps "Ghosts" and "Tune Into My Heart" lack the instant appeal of the other tracks, but "New In Town", "Click", "Meddle", and "No Breaks" are some of the album's best tracks, which leave you yearning for more. There is also a very sensual feminine quality to all of the music here, as Miss Hesketh's personality shines through. It's an emotional journey, regularly dwelling on love and relationships, but it's also fun, playful and sexy - it's totally seduced me, anyway!

Hands pulls from a wealth of influence, but formulates everything into an incredibly modern, original and addictive album, with some of the best lyrics I've heard in a long time. These (little) boots were clearly made for walking, and I'm certainly looking forward to following her footsteps.
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on 1 July 2009
Having had time to listen to Hands over the last few weeks, it struck me that there are a lot of layers to Little Boots music that need unwrapping in order to fully enjoy the experience.

Most of the tracks come accross as instantly accessable pop with catchy chorus's and sing-a-long tunes, but as you listen more intently and turn up the volume, the odd backing vocal, deep bass, harmony, or synth sound suddenly make an impression, and you find the songs have so much more to say and hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

New in town, Meddle and Remedy are the most instant to hit you with their pop skills, but after a while the real gems of the album "Symmetry and Stuck on repeat," take hold and highlight how talented Little boots is.

Yes there are a couple of wafer light tunes, but this is a pop album, not Queens of the stone age, so learn to love them.

I personally really enjoy this album and Little Boots can come accross so complete on her debut, it makes me eager for album 2 and beyond.

There is an air of the much underrated group "Dubstar" here with haunting female vocals, catchy tunes and quality lyrics.

If you enjoy good quality pop music such as Human League, ABC, Pet Shop Boys even Madonna, then Hands would pretty much suit you down to the ground. Go on and buy it, as the reviews so far don't do it justice.
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