Something to Talk About
Hold the phone, alert MTV-U and get ready for the Twitterverse backlash: Kate Nash has gone PUNK!
It’s not exactly “Dylan Goes Electric,” but in a pop culture climate of Shock for Shock’s Sake, bravo to Ms. Nash for making an organically bold decision – and leaving her label to boot. Kate is not exactly known for being a shy, wilting flower – songs like 2007’s “Dickhead” made her brand of piano-pop notably edgy. But after years of coloring inside the lines, it seems that Nash has embraced the unknown by fan-financing and self-releasing Girl Talk, which bears more resemblance to The Breeders than Lily Allen. In fact, it seems like we can kiss the Lily Allen comparison goodbye, because the days of Nash’s sweet n’ cheeky style are gone.
As Nash puts it: “Music is about rebellion. When did things get so boring? All the acts when I was growing up were saying ‘f*** you’ to something. It’s important to piss some people off.”
Where Nash’s previous efforts were heavily produced and polished, Girl Talk is nice and grimy. There’s no escaping the loveliness of Nash’s voice – from time to time, the rough feel is actually interrupted by how sleekly she can sing. “OMYGOD!” for all of its gnarled guitar sound, still has moments of blissful pop glitz. For the most part, however, these songs bear a heavy resemblance to classic Bikini Kill and Breeders. Bassy and brash “Oh” into the thrashing “All Talk” feels like a track pairing straight out of a Pixies record – in fact, a comparative mash-up with “Oh My Golly” would be a great experiment. Other standout tunes include crowd-chorused “You’re So Cool, I’m So Freaky,” ’90s-tastic single “3AM” and the eerie and surprising closing track “Lullaby for An Insomniac.”
It remains to be seen whether this new leaf Nash has turned over is a keeper. But in the meantime, (if you’ll pardon the pun) this record is certainly something to talk about.