Review of Contact Album by The Noisettes

It was back in 2009 when Noisettes were catapulted into current culture with 'Don't Upset the Rhythm', and all thanks to a TV ad. Since then, I think most of us had put them in the one hit wonder bucket - but they're actually still around, you know!

The Noisettes Contact Album

The third album, due for release at the end of August, offers a more mature and slick affair than previous releases. As with the last album, 'Wild Hearts Run Free', the flow is an issue, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. What matters is that, whilst the previous two albums as a whole did not hit the ground running, they seem to have learned from this and developed. Now it's a case of making everyone realise.

Despite starting with a distinct orchestral resemblance to a Disney film, the album is a sophisticated and eclectic collection of work.

Flitting between musical styles, it's like a joyride through pop, folk, and acoustic influences, all having been given a Noisettes finish. It's an album you cannot say doesn't have a lot of vibrancy and life about it. It's a far cry from some of the maudlin sounds going round at the moment where singers sound like they're on their death bed!

'Ragtop Car' is actually quite a beautiful creation. It might not be the typical hook driven work they usually go with, but that's part of the charm.

You finish on the chilled acoustic sounds of 'Contact', a track which really exploits Shingai Shoniwa's unique and strong vocal style.

Although the first single from the album has been 'Winner', they may have had a higher response from 'That Girl'. It's a bit cheesy, but radio would snap it up for that fact alone. You can imagine it being used for TV trailers, or the sort of continuity they use to link themed weekends of retro Friends episodes. In other words, 'Contact' could be commercially successful.

I'm not sure why Noisettes don't get a little more credit. Maybe it's because they are hard to explain. If someone asked you to describe them, it would be fairly hard to do so. Unless they have a remix applied to them, you don't hear them in clubs; they take influences from different genres and add their own take, but they are predominantly radio friendly. The media were all over 'Don't Upset the Rhythm' (sorry to mention that again, I'm as bad as everyone else).

Overall, 'Contact' is not bad at all. I fear that based on past albums and the fact that many will not realise that they are even still about, it may not be touched. That's a real shame if it happens because, if you fight off the original opinions you might have and your wanting to follow the crowd, you might find something quite special.

Laura Johnstone

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