Well, these modern musicians don’t do things very prolifically, do they? Four years after her lovely debut Hands (2009), Little Boots is back with her second album Nocturnes.
It was a long time coming. The first singles, Crescendo and Shake turned up way back in 2011, and several others made their way into the public eye before the album itself finally decided to grace us with its presence. Which is fine, although it’s a slightly odd way of promoting an album.
Anyway, now we’ve got it in our Hands, and we can finally enjoy it as it’s meant to be enjoyed. Nocturnes opens with the brilliantly dark single Motorway. Immediately it feels a lot darker and less pop-fuelled than the debut album. She’s had four years to do it, but Little Boots has definitely grown up a bit.
Confusion follows, if you’ll pardon the pun, again with a slightly dark electronic side to it. There’s a bit of tribal percussion to lighten the mood, but whereas the first album was made up largely of three minute pop songs, this time around there’s little under the five minute mark.
Next up is another single, the lovely Broken Record. The verse doesn’t blow you away immediately, but the chorus is exceptional. For any failings you might think she has, you have to agree that Little Boots has a fine line in pop choruses.
The rest of what probably ought to be Side A is made up of less exceptional tracks Shake and Beat Beat, neither of which quite lives up to the normal Little Boots standard of pop song. The latter has a bit of seventies charm to it, and both have plenty of dance floor charm – they’re just not quite as exceptional as some of the other tracks.
Side B is a different matter entirely – almost every track could have been the lead single by itself. Every Night I Say a Prayer comes first, again a little disco in flavour, but a lovely, fun little track. Then Crescendo is next, with another extremely catchy chorus to enjoy.
Strangers is a strange track – it is, until the chorus at least, incredibly soft and laid back. The chorus is beautifully catchy and romantic, but there’s an odd darkness to the lyrics. Somehow despite all of this, it’s an incredibly sweet song, but there is something a little strange about it – in keeping with the title perhaps.
Saving the best till almost last, my favourite track on the album is the penultimate one All for You. There’s something very simple and “pop” about it, perhaps echoing the first album a little more than everything else on this one, but it also boasts a truly exceptional chorus, punctuated by some unexpected enormous snare sounds and lovely synth lines.
The closing song is Satellite, which is definitely the weakest of the second half of the album. That isn’t saying a lot though, the calibre here is so high, and I’m not sure Satellite is quite up to the standard of its neighbours.
On the whole, Nocturnes is a worthy follow-up from Little Boots – she’s older and wiser, but still entirely capable of crafting fun and beautiful pop songs. But if you count the year or so that we’ve had since the album came out, we’ve got another three years to wait until the next Little Boots album turns up. And that’s a very great shame, as Hands and Nocturnes were both great. I suppose we just have to sit tight, wish very hard, and try to come up with jokes about banging our shoes together.
You can find Nocturnes through all standard retailers, such as Amazon.