CD Review: Little Boots — Illuminations EP

LittleBootsIlluminationsEP Little Boots

Illuminations

Elektra

By Leila Regan-Porter

British people (disclaimer – I am one) have no problem with hailing a pop princess as leader of the future of great music. We've gushed over Robbie Williams, Sugarbabes, Duffy and Sophie Ellis Bextor in the same sentence as Coldplay, Razorlight, Amy Winehouse and Jamiroquai. We birthed the biggest pop band and greatest critically acclaimed group of all time, The Beatles. So the line between blissful pop goodness and smartly written songs is not only blurred, but pretty much nonexistent. They called it Britpop, not Britrock, for a reason.

Little Boots, AKA Victoria Hesketh, is such an artist who can sit happily between Lady Gaga and Goldfrapp, equally enjoyed by the masses and high-nosed critics alike. Standing by the likes of Justice and Cee-Lo as part of the new roster of recently-resurrected Elektra Records, she's in good electro-/eccentric-pop company, and the tracks from her American debut EP, Illuminations, fits in perfectly.

The tracks are all backed up those glorious '80s throwback sounds, from the sythns to the drum machines, that are all mainstays on the dancefloors of hipster clubs. The coos are definitely reminiscent of Kylie Minogue, for whom the addictive "Stuck on Repeat" was actually written for, but Hesketh's own mesmerizing coos and slightly dark production from Hot Chip's Joe Goddard make it very much her own track. 

"Not Now" is much lighter, stepping into Girls Aloud and Duran Duran territory (the latter of which she name drops in the song), with its distinct girl pop band sound and sing-along-ability. Then there's even a Freddie Mercury cover, "Love Kills," probably the weakest of the tracks, since without Mercury's operatic emotion the song's prolific meaning is long lost, rendering it just another disco pop track.

But the real star of the EP has to be "New In Town," which is already moving swiftly up the charts in England, and could easily be the addictive, shiny-yet-gritting song of the summer. The squishy beats, excitable Scissor Sisters-esque chorus, sugary-sweet but sharp vocals, screeching mechanical keyboard and sassy assurance give the song enough swagger to appeal to the underground while keeping it catchy enough for the bopping teens 'n' tweens. She'll be catching up with Gaga in no time.

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