Little Boots - Working Girl

Es war einmal, vor langer Zeit (2009) in einem weit entfernten (Vereinigten) Königreich, dort wurden zwei junge Prinzessinnen (La Roux und Little Boots) als die Zukunft des Elektropop gehandelt und mit Single-Hit-Ehren bedacht ("In For The Kill", "Bulletproof", "Remedy"). 

So könnte die Geschichte von Victoria Christina Hesketh, besser bekannt als Little Boots, beginnen, doch leider hat diese nach einem märchenhaften Aufstieg kein Happy End genommen. Eigentlich für keine der beiden Pop-Protagonistinnen. 

Little Boots konnte im weiteren Verlauf ihrer Karriere nicht an die Erfolge ihrer ersten Singles ("New In Town", "Remedy") und des Debütalbums "Hands", das in England auf Platz 5 der Charts kam, anschließen. "Nocturnes" strandete 2013 nur auf dem 45. Rang der Hitlisten, die Dame wurde von ihrer Plattenfirma fallen gelassen und von "Working Girl", auf Hesketh' eigenem Label veröffentlicht, wurden in ihrem Heimatland gerade einmal 1.425 Kopien in der ersten Woche verkauft, was nur für Platz 67 reichte.

Betrachtet man sich die durchschnittlichen Bewertungen der professionellen Plattenkritiker, zusammengetragen von Metacritic, so ist dieser Abstieg nicht nachzuvollziehen: Hier liegt "Working Girl" mit 64/100 Punkten nur knapp hinter "Hands" (68) und "Nocturne" (69). 

"Working Girl" klingt in seinen besten Momenten nach dem, was Saint Etienne, Kylie Mnogue oder die Pet Shop Boys in den 90ern so präsentierten. Wer also auf eingängigen, synthetischen Pop (erweitert um House- und R'n'B-Elemente) steht, der sollte es einmal mit "Working Girl", an dem zahlreiche Produzenten, wie Ariel Rechtshaid (Madonna, Brandon Flowers), Peter Wade (Natasha Bedingfield, Kylie Minogue) oder Jas Shaw von Simian Mobile Disco, werkelten, versuchen. 

Having been through the major label pop mill and taken the jelly fillets out of her stage gear, the classically-trained 30-year-old now runs her own label and knows whereof she sings. There are motivational numbers such as Get Things Done, with its great elastic-bass hook. But more often Hesketh is in the trenches. Against the Nineties club whumps of No Pressure, she notes: “The city treats you like a stranger/ Though you’ve been here a hundred times before/ Playing the game, you need a changer.”
There’s pouty fun (though little innovation) on Better in the Morning. Hesketh should take more risks. The most experimental track, Taste It, is the high point of an album that makes great commuting company.
(The Telegraph)

The album keeps its BPM up and its personal stakes high, as Hesketh articulates the ennui of a high-powered life. “I don’t like where I am and my friends don’t understand,” she sings on “No Pressure”. On “Business Pleasure”, she asserts, “I’m not your girl in the machine.” And on “Better in the Morning”, she bounces through a sing-song melody to talk herself out of feeling defeated at the end of the day. The production is lively and fun throughout, but ringed with after-hours melancholy. Hesketh sings as if she’s trying to claw her way out of isolation, hoping for someone, anyone, to hear her.
Little Boots packs her share of sarcasm into Working Girl, but above all she insists fiercely on her own humanity. She arranges her insecurities on a familiar pop framework, her struggles and doubts laid bare. The chirping “Help Too” carries some of the heaviest lyrics Hesketh has written — it might be her most tender song yet. Boots has refined her technical skills and curation choices over the past two albums, but her biggest breakthrough on Working Girl is just how much she’s now willing to let us in.
(Consequence Of Sound)

From the title track to the deep-house "Heroine" and "Business Pleasure," the theme of feminine empowerment is threaded loosely throughout, though "Get Things Done," with its kitschy disco affectations and girl-power hook ("We know how to get things done!"), sounds less like a modern feminist anthem and more like the theme song to Amy Schumer's recent "80's Ladies" sketch.
And while the reggae-influenced keyboards and bouncy, early-'90s house bass of "The Game" provide some nifty nostalgia-triggering tricks that are ultimately in service of rather pedestrian melodies and lyrics ("Play that game, break that chain"), tracks like the standout "Help Too," a bittersweet electro ballad worthy of Robyn, display an understated sophistication and vulnerability: "Baby, let me know if you're cold, you can have my sweater/Call me up in pieces, I'll put you back together." It's in moments like these that Little Boots seems to have found the perfect fit.
(Slant Magazine)


Volker hat gesagt…

Wieder nix herausragendes!


Dirk hat gesagt…

Bei Weitem nicht das schlechteste Synth-Pop-Album, das ich dieses Jahr gehört habe.

5,5 Punkte