New Albums: The Noisettes – Contact
Freddie Matthews writes from London: There’s one massive draw to this band and that’s the silky cool vocals of their singer Shingai Shoniwa. If it weren’t for her, Noisettes would be left out to die in the musical wilderness.
The new 3rd album, Contact, is the successor to ‘Wild and Young Hearts’, produced by legendary producer Jim Abbiss who famously produced The Arctic Monkeys debut album, ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ as well as both of Adele’s colossal albums 19 and 21. Surely this could only aid Noisettes by facilitating the critical acclaim they craved and desired. In part they should also thank a Japanese car company advert. One of the songs from that second album was a turning point in Noisettes’ career. Don’t Upset The Rhythm was pretty much the crux of the gold selling albums success.
Now, three years on, musically Noisettes remain a little confusing and very difficult to pigeonhole. Genre wise many categories spring to mind: for starters Contact begins with a 30-piece orchestra; there’s also disco, electro-pop, Motown, trip-hop, country and uber cool acid jazz. How can one album pull off so many shifts in direction while continuing to remain a solid and cohesive piece of work? I think the key is the unique versatility of Shoniwa’s beautifully sensitive vocal.
This album has its critics and to be honest my preconceptions were that I would be one of them but there’s something very special, accomplished and attractive about Contact. It makes no difference whatsoever if Noisettes aren’t one of the cool scene. This album carves its own cool regardless of industry opinion.
New Albums: P!NK – The Truth About Love
Six albums later and P!NK is back in business, despite reminding us of so many other female American artists writing music in the same vein, like Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry. However there’s plenty of space for all three and at least none of the above sounds like Rihanna. Just like P!NK herself , The Truth About Love is pure American pop with a capital ‘P’. In case you were wondering, her mum knows her as Alecia Beth Moore. She’s been called P!NK since her singing origins in clubs around the Philadelphia area.
P!NK’s last album, Funhouse, was a complete commercial success, No.1 in six countries, including the UK and USA, sales of over 5 million worldwide and 7 hit singles. Quite frankly I’d be surprised if The Truth About Love is up to beating, if not emulating, Funhouse but you never know. In actual fact the new album has already charted at No. 1 in seven countries but unfortunately for P!NK that didn’t include the UK market. It achieved UK No.2 with 80,000 sales. However no one can argue with the 201,ooo in the USA. That’s 281,000 sales, in the first week alone. You could say that high sales were a given due to P!NK’s already established fame and the success of the last album but only continued success over the next year to 18 months will tell.
P!NK may now be married and also a mum but thankfully nothing has changed. She hasn’t lost her raw, tough attitude and the sexual innuendo continues to ooze from her musical pores. The new album’s a little overly long in places. She could have binned the last 3 or 4 tracks but I suppose fans want more and more for their money in 2012.
The Truth About Love has already got the P!NK fans parting with their cash, while she retains plenty of pop-rock attitude, an accolade which is surprisingly ‘still’ well deserved.