Review Summary: An incredibly confident and positive record, with gripping guitar riffs, up tempo beats and of course Shingai Shoniwa's powerful voice tackling so many great melodies.
Shingai Shoniwa says that her music is informed greatly by her childhood, and that she writes as an ultimate act of escapism. The lyrics are mostly bright in tone and have uplifting lyrics, encouraging the listener to let loose. Powerful hooks such as 'Nothing to Dread' and 'Don't Give Up'. The incendiary indie pop perfectly suites these confident lyrics, with thumping, and very danceable tunes throughout. It’s this escapism that makes this record so likeable, you don’t have to make any conscious effort to dig this music. The themes are all familiar, yet not simplified, and the tunes are varied and catchy.
Noisettes are not just a one trick pony however, lead single 'The Count of Monte Christo' is a beautiful slow building pop song, which for the best part of the intro is carried by Shoniwa's voice, with the guitar and drums gently building the atmosphere. Written from the perspective of an oracle to the count, telling him what he must do. The cryptic chorus of ''I see, You see, ain't no more honey from this bee'' sounds just as sweet as what bees do best. this track makes for a suitable break in the tempo, as its mostly unstoppable rock n roll pop hits, which you can't help but turn up loud, and at the very least nod your head.
The catchiest song on the record ‘Nothing to Dread’ a thumping, bouncy tune which should be breaking the ice in student disco’s and late night parties up and down the country. Its instant tune, and rally call should definitely bring a grand grin to your face, which is just what you want almost anytime of the day!
The band really know how to work together, and this really shows on the record, with natural backing vocals really lifting the right moments, and Shoniwa’s range of guitars and tones, keeping the record, tight consistent and never static or stuck for ideas. All the songs follow an interesting structure, far beyond the simple verse chorus verse, which is all too common in a currently over saturated indie scene.
This record really does its job, presenting well written catchy pop and strong danceable rock n roll. One of the best debut records I’ve heard in a long time, it makes the long term future of the band a very exciting prospect.
The latter part of the record brings things too a close, with ‘Mind the Gap’ blasting between fast paced pop, rock riffs and slow tempo vocal driven breaks. Although this song jumps between different styles and tempos, it never becomes too disorientating and retains its focus, they could have simply followed one of these formulas, but it is this ability to experiment successfully that makes The Noisettes such an endearing group.
The final song on the record, really shows off Shoniwa’s vocal talents, carrying the melody alone and grabbing your attentions for the whole first verse. This final double song, is a fantastic way too send off the record dramatically, just as single ‘Don’t Give Up’ was a smart, sharp start too the record. Shoniwa’s vocal performance for this song, really shows how much she must know about music, and how indebted she is too singers from previous generations, akin too contemporary Amy Winehouse. Shingai Shoniwa is featured vocally on many artists records, and its easy too see why, she has a great ear for melodies and a gripping voice, that only the squarest could ignore. This is especially apparent for the closing duet with guitarist Dan Smith, it is clear they have a good relationship and their performance has a lot of warmth, and a sense of intimacy.
All in all this is certainly a record anyone who is a fan of indie pop, or rock n roll should definitely take the time too listen too, just make sure you make enough room for dancing, and bring a friend!