Wow. I can’t believe how hard it was to rank these next two CDs. Seriously, this may be the hardest one to do out of the top of this list, because both the number 3 and the number 2 CDs are so close for different reasons, that I really didn’t know which one to put below the other. However, I do love both of the CDs very much, and they did make the top of my list, so I guess it really isn’t that big of a deal, now is it? Right. Now, in at number three (practically number 2 if we did ties), is Kate Nash’s brilliant debut record, Made of Bricks.
I originally heard of Kate Nash through one of those random “Now!-type samplers”, where the song Foundations was included. After hearing it, I was hooked; and I knew I needed more. What I got, was an amazing CD, chock full of interestingly told stories about childhood rebellion, lovers professing, and missed love connections. Kate is one of those really rare singers that crafts these everyday stories into songs, and does so in a way that defies the conventional way of writing a chorus, refrain, and following a typical song pattern. What happens, is you get crafty songs like Birds; which is full of strangely chosen sentences and weird ways of describing love that come across as both sincere and heartwarming. While some may be off-put by this alternative method of “waxing poetic”, I think that it really shows depth and a level of interestingness that is definitely a welcome thing in today’s music scene.
There are a lot of comparisons between Kate Nash and Lily Allen; they are both Brits with an alterna-pop, single female fronted record, filled with stories about their trials and tribulations, and both exhibit a bad girl edge that is not afraid to stick it to the guy that fucked them over. I think, however, that they both have something, that sets them apart from one another; and serves to be something that prevents Kate from being a Lily “clone”. Where Lily Allen masterfully creates brilliant songs that do tend to stick to the aforementioned pattern of “song crafting”, Kate steps outside of the box, and on both accounts, I have found two female artists that I really completely enjoy. Is Kate Nash the Lily Allen of 2007? Perhaps, but she is different enough, that the comparison will only garner interest in her music; and not have people thinking that she is a carbon-copy (which she definitely is NOT).
The songs that fill Made of Brickswith such joy, pain, suffering, and happiness really take you on an emotional journey; that both make you feel great, and also leaving you feeling like “ugh, I have been there too, and yes, it does suck”. It is one of those records that allow you to have fun, and poke fun at those situations when you too found out that you weren’t going to get the guy, and as such, got drunk in a bathroom at a party to make yourself feel better. I personally love the way that Kate sings, and I think that the combination of her sweet and sincere British voice, mixed with her alternative story telling methods, you really feel like you are getting to know the woman behind the music when you listen to this record.
Made of Bricks is fun, and has so many catchy songs on it, that you will definitely have a difficult time getting several of them out of your head. The single Foundations is one that demands to be played on repeat; but is only the tip of the fantastic pop-iceberg that makes up the rest of this glorious CD. Like I said, it was really hard to rank this at number 3, because I do love it so very, very much, but it only slightly (seriously, like a sliver of glass less) falls below my number 2 choice, which will be up tomorrow. If you are in the market for one of those amazing talents that have created a record that everyone should be talking about, Made of Bricks is where it is at; it is purely brilliant, and amazingly crafted. I fully love everything about this record; and am so happy that I discovered the talented Kate Nash when I did. This record is one of those records that you listen to, instantly realize that you have found something brilliant, and then love time and time again each and every time you listen to it. This is one that demands a spot near the top of my collection; and not just for 2007. Finally, if you like this CD (and how can you not), make sure to pick up the EP she has on iTunes, which contains a few more equally brilliant songs.
Favorite tracks from Made of Bricks:
We Get On, Skeleton Song, Merry Happy, Pumpkin Soup, and Mariella. (all of them, really! Also, links for video; definitely check out the foundations video… so cute!)