Immature lyrics limit Nash’s fan base
There’s no doubt that when Kate Nash jumped in the music scene, she made a splash. Riding the wave of the post-Lily Allen MySpace craze, her debut Made of Bricks peaked at number one on the UK charts.
Although slightly less popular in the U.S., she made an impression with “Merry Happy,” her fifth single and the only hit off her debut album. With such a successful debut, expectations for her next album rose.
Nash’s sophomore album My Best Friend Is You isn’t so much a disappointment as a compilation of hit-and-miss songs. Half ’60s girl group, half fem-rock, Nash has girlhood covered as she sings about mean boys, nasty girls, and a blend of self-loathing and girl power.
But that’s just the problem: It’s as if Nash hasn’t grown up. The 22-year-old is still stuck on the woes of the young, love-struck girl. And although this type of music appeals to her fan base, mainly girls and young women, she fails to gain a larger audience.
While her single “Do-Wah-Doo” draws from ’60s girl groups, it’s similar to the poppy, girly songs that were popular from Made of Bricks. The song is a good one, with catchy rhythms and clever rhyming, but it’s one of the few on the album.
If you’ve only heard the single and first two tracks, “Paris” and “Kiss that Grrrl,” you might be misled into thinking the rest of the album is as brilliant. All three songs are reminiscent of Nash’s first album. With upbeat pop undertones, the songs soar and their vibrancy is undeniable.
The only other catchy song, although debatably so, is “Mansion Song,” the eighth track, which is a combination of the worst song you’ve ever heard and the most female-empowering lyrics. The end result is an intriguing tune — or rather, an angry rant — against the treatment of female groupies by male rockstars and the absurdity of some 21st-century women. Perhaps this is the one song on the album in which Nash seems willing to face her own maturity.
Some less than successful tracks include “I Just Love You More” and “I Hate Seagulls.” The former song draws from Karen-O of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but Nash only provides loud screeching noises and repetitive words without purpose. The latter is simply a slow number that lists the things she hates. Perhaps she meant for the song to be meaningful, but it comes off as whiny and fails to catch the listener’s interest.
Nash’s experimentation with sounds and different styles is confusing and lacks direction as she jumps from genre to genre. She struggles with what she wants to say, and more often than not the message gets misunderstood. While she tries so desperately to be taken seriously, she remains the girly pop star who laments the trials and troubles of young women.
At best, the album caters to the crowd of teens and 20-somethings who relate to Nash’s words. At worst, it’s just another byproduct of the sophomore album syndrome.