So here is the album I’ve been waiting for, one of the artists I recommended for ’09. And it just doesn’t live up to expectations.
That’s not to say “Hands” is a complete disappointment, there are definite shards of brilliance on this debut album but these often come with a catch – “Hearts Collide” provides one of the best examples of low-maintenance synth overall but in ways seems entirely derivative of something that Kylie Minogue would produce, even down to vocal arrangement. Tracks like “Ghost”, “Remedy” are enjoyably simplistic but yet you can almost feel that it’s put forced at times. The effort exerted is no more evident than in “Symmetry” with its over-produced sound at the complete sacrifice of writing ability, “you’re the night to my day, and the left to my right” – how about the “fuck” to my “off”?
Thankfully though, some songs are almost without fault. “Stuck on Repeat” with a killer hook which is focused on the verse rather than the chorus gives the album it’s first genuine hit. “New in Town”, which was cleverly selected as the lead single, is never anything other than completely carefree and energetic, making it impossible not to be caught up in it.
The major faults here lie with fatigue and ambition – so many songs simply blend into each other and more than that, those of her contemporaries in a way that never allow them to gain momentum. The heavy industrial dance sound at times even feels at times as if Boots is aiming for a thinking man’s Eurovision. And more so than anything, the overall feel can sometimes feel as if it is both attempting too much and achieving nothing.