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I was not a fan of The Noisettes. I heard a song at a friend's party and just had to ask her who they were and now I have the album downloaded onto my ipod. I took a chance buying it after liking just one song, but was it worth it?
The Noisettes is formed by guitarist Dan Smith, drummer Jamie Morison and of course, vocalist Shingai Shoniwa from Zimbabwe who all met at the BRITS school for performing arts in London. As a team they perform some of the songs acoustically and others with electric guitar. I'm no expert on guitar or drums, but as a singer I can tell you that Shingai's voice certainly is something quite incredible. Beautifully deep and powerful, it resonates throughout 'Wild Young Hearts.'
On their website they describe this album as being about youth and acting young, but personally I don't think that comes through. However it is definitely individualistic and I would compare the band with artists such as Amy Winehouse and Paloma Faith.
2. Don't Upset The Rhythm (Go Baby Go)
3. Wild Young Hearts
4. 24 Hours
5. Every Now And Then
6. Beat Of My Heart
8. Never Forget You
9. So Complicated
10. Saturday Night
11. Cheap Kicks
Never Forget You, Saturday Night and Don't Upset The Rhythm have all been released as singles, with the latter reaching their highest position of no.2 in the charts, which is maybe quite surprising as I wouldn't have described their music as commercial pop. It's too good for that - but perhaps the British public is starting to develop a more sophisticated taste?
I think my favourite song has to be Atticus, the nearest to a ballad on this album, but nothing like Angels by Robbie Williams! In fact I don't think I could compare this song to anything else I've heard. Shingai pours bags of emotion into this song (which I think is lacking in many of the others). Although her voice is mellow and soothing, it still has a powerful roar and never lacks that extra kick! Her latter harmonies with a male vocalist add a rich layer to the song.
The lyrics are quite complex and at times intensely beautiful. This is a song I could listen to again and again - and maybe still not know what it means but love it all the same! Her impossibly smooth voice is really highlighted on this track and it leaves you wanting more.
However, not all the songs are as to my taste. Although none of them are in any way terrible, a few are lacking that certain something.
For instance, So Complicated, an upbeat one which seems very similar to some other numbers. It's not bad to dance to, but definitely gets repetitive by the end. Then there is Cheap Kicks, which is trying too hard to be something different and doesn't quite hit the mark, wavering somewhere between a ballad and an up-tempo song. The lyrics aren't very strong, interwoven with clichés. This is one of those tracks I'd rather skip, as it has no effect on my mood.
Unlike 24 Hours, which is one of the better album tracks on 'Wild Young Hearts.' I found Shangai's delivery of the interesting lyrics quite touching, loving the way she made them sound so personal to her.
Some of my favourites: "I'm pulling my hair out. I can't get to sleep. The bed feels so empty. I can still smell you on me. A moment in space, a look on your face when I say hello."
Their simplicity combines wonderfully with the music and the effect is great.
Of the three singles, I would say that Never Forget you is the best, with Don't Upset the Rhythm as a close second. Never Forget You is probably the most Winehouse sounding of them all, which I quite like really. It's such a catchy song which I welcome sticking in my mind. For me the lyrics of the chorus are a little predictable, but the band and vocals in unison help the song along. I love singing along with the verses and I find it always a pleasure to listen to.
Don't Upset The Rhythm is probably the most famous of them all. I've often heard it played at clubs, where everyone screams along to "4, 3, 2, 1!" and dances like crazy. It's a fun number and is pretty original.
I actually haven't heard Saturday Night on the radio or music channels so was a bit surprised to hear it had been released as a single. Well, this Saturday Night is nothing like the cheesy song we all know and love (or love to hate). In particular, this song oozes feminine charm and has an encouraging element of girl power. The beat is pretty good and there are elements of space age/trance here and there, which if nothing else is a bit different! I think that although this song starts off very together, it lacks momentum towards the end.
The songs that I haven't mentioned in detail are typical of The Noisettes. The leading lady's dark musing tones are rather haunting. She definitely demonstrates her incredible range in this album, in a far earthier way that of Christina or Mariah.
It's quite clear that all three members are excellent musicians, but I think it would have been nice to have a little more variation in tone. I would like to see the odd traditional ballad. I remember being surprised and quite impressed to hear Ave Maria on Beyonce's latest album. I'd find it particularly interesting to hear how The Noisettes would put their twist on such a classic.
I don't regret buying this album for the 4 or 5 tracks that I really like, but it is not something I could listen to again and again. If you like their general sound then you will absolutely love this album.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Wild Young Hearts
3 24 Hours
4 Every Now And Then
5 Don't Upset The Rhythm
6 Beat Of My Heart
8 Never Forget You
9 So Complicated
10 Saturday Night
11 Cheap Tricks