British singer Kate Nash has drawn comparisons to other female vocalists such as Regina Spektor, and that has been deserved – until Nash’s release of “Girl Talk” on Tuesday.
Nash apparently decided her cutesy pop songs needed to end. “Girl Talk” is her attempt to mesh punk with pop and guttural screams with singing. The album is angry, that much is clear, but Nash ends up sounding like a miffed teenage girl who lacks the ability to clearly articulate her irritation at men, the world and everything in general.
The opening track “Part Heart” begins with lower, semi-droning vocals, which make it seem like just an opener, but it isn’t. What would make a nice, interesting beginning section fills the majority of the three-minute track. The first song just never really starts.
“Conventional Girl” is a fuming track where Nash sings/screams about a lover letting her down. Now, love is salient in the mind of most artists, and it is likely that nearly every album release includes one song about love, a love lost or a heartbreak, but “Conventional Girl” doesn’t sound like a song about heartbreak. It sounds like an average girl complaining about a guy. None of the instrumentation matches the singing, and it sounds like two tracks were slapped together to make an awkward semi-song. The instruments should have just been taken out so Nash could have whine time.
“Death Proof” melds the vocals and the instrumentation better, but her singing turns into more talking. Nash is clearly a talented singer. She clearly knows what she is doing on the vocal end of things. Why does it sound like she doesn’t even care about half the tracks or as if she didn’t want to put any effort into it? Maybe the talking/singing strategy was to give the aloof, I-don’t-care-what-you-think vibe, but in the end it just made the album sound half-done.
With her different attempt to change her cute, poppy reputation, Nash throws in some punk-inspired yelps in “Sister,” which just don’t work. The yelps are out of place and unfitting.
The best track of the album is “All Talk.” With this song, Nash finally seems to get the hang of successful girl-punk music. The music weaves into the vocals better than the other tracks.
“Girl Talk” is Nash’s middle finger to the world. She doesn’t care what you, men or anyone else has to think and she’s going to say it like she sees it, but the angry girl album could be more articulate.