Made Of Bricks

Kate Nash

Fiction Records, 2007

REVIEW BY: Sarah Curristan


Judging by the plethora of new musicians and “next big things,” it seems that if I wanted a record deal (which, let’s face it, would just be plain ridiculous), all I would have to do is pick up a guitar, get a haircut, and set up a MySpace. Owing to this, I’m always a little suspicious hearing new bands that have been shot into the success-stream overnight. In a way they’re almost like the boy bands of their day. You wonder who will last the longest, who will see the light of a second album, and which ones will end up presenting some morning television show.

Springing straight from the recently successful Lily Allen mould came Kate Nash. The two seemed uncannily alike: MySpacer? Check. Lived-in vintage dresses? Yep. Singing in Cockney London accent? It’s a must. I was all set to look the other way, wondering why the bigwigs were attempting to market what was potentially the same person.

My first introduction to Kate Nash was a song called “Caroline’s A Victim,” a headache-inducing three minutes with the titular repeated painfully over drums and a synth. Thankfully it didn’t make it to her 2007 debut, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Made Of Bricks.

Signing with Polydor branch-off Fiction Records, Kate Nash released “Foundations,” a well-crafted, layered pop song that really lassoed my attention. The song received an incredible amount of airplay and before you knew it, Kate Nash was wearing the “Next Big Thing” tiara. Her debut album was pushed forward for an earlier release, a drastic step for a still relatively unknown artist. I decided to hop on the bandwagon anyway -- worst coming to worst, I’d just have another dust collector at the back of my CD collection.

Unexpectedly, I got far more out of this little purchase than I would have thought.  It’s cute. It’s childish. It’s wonderful.

With Kate Nash, there’s not really much room for sitting on the fence; people love her or hate her. The chief criticism of her work is usually the lyrics, but in her defense, people shouldn’t dive into an album inspired by imaginary friends, a little girl who refuses to speak, and stalking the guy you like expecting some kind of literary masterpiece

“I don't ever make up stuff about you and me / That could be considered insanity / I don't ever drive by your house / To see if you're in / I don't even have an opinion / On that tramp that you're still seeing,” Nash sings, and yes, it’s a little unconventional, a little strange, but the delivery is so childlike you can’t help but smile. She writes what she knows, however quirky it may be, and it’s refreshing. The melodies of the album, through both vocals and music, never let up, and you soon find yourself involuntarily singing along in a woeful British accent.

Made Of Bricks stands solid as an album. There aren’t many weak songs, which for an album with a rushed release, let alone for a debut, is quite impressive. The r&b-vibed “Dickhead” is the only song that has yet to grow on me. Overall album highlights include “We Get On,” “Mouthwash,” “Skeleton Song,” and the secret track “Little Red.”

From seeing her live, the ample amount of bootlegs of the internet, and rumors of a single with a certain Billy Bragg, it would appear that Kate Nash has more than enough to fuel a sophomore album and isn’t about to become just another evanescent MySpace artist.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2008 Sarah Curristan and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Fiction Records, and is used for informational purposes only.