In the Swing of Things
It’s definitely a great time to be a pop starlet, especially with slightly edgier stylings á la Adele, Lana Del Ray, Lady Gaga, etc. Fairly new to the scene is Madison, a blonde bombshell with the same sensibility and candy-sweet voice as Gwen Stefani, with the hip appearance of any young Brooklynite. Her latest four-track EP, We’ve Been Nothing, is a reasonable preview of what’s in store for America’s new indie-ish pop singer.
“Sweet Life” sounds like late ’90s No Doubt. Sexy cabaret, swingy rock n’ roll, and ’80s romanticism ooze in gallons as Madison commands her listeners to “hit the sweet life / pass it around.”
“Nobody Like Me” is Madison’s attempt at semi-rap delivery, like a chilled out Nicki Minaj, doused in somewhat dated imagery. The overproduction of this track doesn’t exactly complement the singer’s devil-may-care lyrics. It comes off as a little too faux ’90s, and not in the cool, Rihanna-going-seapunk way all the kids rave about. Maybe with a more minimal backing track, Madison’s personality could shine through a little more.
“Ship Off Shore” is a jazzy, big-band swing number, the kind of retro song that Madison seems to really own. This is where great production comes in handy. Maybe Baz Luhrmann should think about throwing Madison’s music in his next flick. Madison might pair well with Jay-Z on a track for the upcoming The Great Gatsby.
The last track, “Speakeasy,” sports a thick, bouncy drum beat. Madison drops to a seductive whisper and suddenly you want a bourbon to match her distorted and warm vocals. This song, like the rest, isn’t anything exciting or shocking; some EP’s don’t showcase the best of the best in an artist’s catalog. As a new artist, Madison needed at least one jawdropper to stand out in a world where pretty blondes can swoop in any minute. We’ve Been Nothing is a song or two short of great EP.