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CD reviews

Katy B

Katy B

Little Red

(Columbia)

IF the polished sound of Little Red is anything to go by, Peckham's Katie Brien is hanging out in a better class of nightclub these days.

Three years on from the rougher underground (more exciting?) style of Mercury-nominated debut On A Mission, she's still writing songs from the perspective of someone who genuinely loves the view from the dancefloor.

But with Robbie Williams's old cohort Guy Chambers lending a hand here and there, the crossover pop potential of this album is inevitably broader and, at times, disappointingly cautious.

The house riff behind opening track Next Thing could not be more Pump Up The Jam if it was a straight cover of Technotronic's original, whereas the hallucinogenic dip into a minor-key call-and-response chorus on I Like You has more of an acid bubble about it.

The hit single Crying For No Reason, with its good use of melody and modulation, sits at a level above your average chart ballad-with-a-beat.

However, with producer Geeneus sitting behind the desk on most of the tracks, Little Red retains a unified sense of itself that gets lost among the carousel of knob-twiddlers who circulate in the studio on too many electro albums these days.

The lyrics are woeful and it's guilty of fillers, but when it puts its dancing shoes on, Little Red makes all the right moves.

ALAN MORRISON

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