Boots on the Throat
“I’m not your girl in the machine/I won’t give up on my daydream”—this isn’t just a line from the title track of Little Boots’ latest EP Business Pleasure, it’s a pretty accurate summation of her career to this point. The English musician is committed to making her electro-pop thing work, yet even having production help from scions of indie-dance (DFA alum Tim Goldsworthy, as well as members of Hot Chip, Simian Mobile Disco, and Hercules & Love Affair) she can’t find the right formula.
The last time we heard from the once and future Victoria Hesketh, Goldsworthy was helming most of her 2012 album Nocturnes. Somehow, her singing made even their best music sound like it was backing up Madonna or Abba—which means, we guess, it sounded like 50 minutes of Madonna’s Abba-sampling song “Hung Up.” The same issue plagues this four-song EP, a set of mostly decent instrumental cuts undermined by Little Boots’ vocals.
The lone peak moment here is that title track, a 1980s fever dream matching Com Truise’s Prince-like drum pads (of course!) to Little Boots’ Apollonia singing and her Donna Summer storyline. Beyond that, “Taste It” finds Hesketh both hammy and possibly pitchy, while “Pretty Tough” suggests female R&B of a certain age (Klymaxx, anyone?) just dragging itself to the finish line. There’s not enough here to suggest Little Boots might change, and therefore not enough to make us want to stick around to find out.