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Strictly Albums Of The Year: On A Mission

Released March 21st 2011 by XO Records

Chart Performance: On A Mission went to No.2 in the UK charts (darn Adele) but topped the UK dance chart and also charted in series of seemingly random locations across Europe.

What The Critics Said: “Witches Brew and Broken Record are, like most of what’s here, fantastic pop songs: hook-laden, melodically rich and crisply written, they don’t hang about.” Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

Seven, count them, seven stunning singles, and one fantastic B-side (“Louder”) saw Katy B owning the charts like no other in 2011. Sure Adele had the two big hits, but Katy B was churning out the year’s most infectious singles while displaying a depth of songwriting and a modernist flair that few could rival.

Dub Step was ready to evolve and cross over in 2011 and Katy B stumbled upon the perfect formula. Taking Dub Steps thudding, lurching beats, and blending them seamlessly with the jerky up tempo rhythms and smooth vocal grandstanding of 90s dance. Not content with blending two distinct eras, South London’s finest decided to recalled the great female singer-songwriter boom of the mid-2000s as she embraced the brashness of Lily Allen with the earthy sexuality of Amy Winehouse. Far from indebted, Katy B ultimately sounded like Katy B, and most importantly, like her famous predecessors, she sounded like a real women.

The tunes were relentless, “Power On Me” was seductive, you oozed and folded into it, “Katy On A Mission” simply refused to age and is one of the greatest and most believable love songs in recent memory. Katy isn’t singing about a man of course, she’s wholeheartedly in love, and engrossed in the music, it surrounds and absorbs her, simultaneously granting her powerful independence and the comfort of anonymity. “Easy Please Me” for it’s part, felt like a “Knock ‘Em Out” reboot, but a much-needed one; a less bratty, but no less assertive counter seduction manifesto, while “Witches Brew” kicked and squelched like a motherfucker, and “Perfect Stranger” captured divine dancefloor seduction.

On A Mission was a vital modernist statement, this was three generations of great British sonic innovation coming together in one beautiful package: mind, body, spirit and beat. Katy wasn’t kidding when she said “Come With Me And I’ll Make You Feel So Good” it’s a promise the girl who dances with the lights on more than delivered upon; On A Mission is an irresistible love letter to music itself and sensation of being lost within it. David Hayter



Author: david

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