Nadine Shah’s new and third album Holiday Destination is a vigorous and punchy engagement with some of the heavy things that have been happening lately, refracted through her second-generation immigrant identity. Shah’s songs are catchy, tough, and supported by the saxophone of Pete Wareham (Acoustic Ladyland). 2017 music, out on 1965 Records.
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Nadine Shah's previous 'Fast Food' was a rather excellent thing and should not be forgotten. A stellar pop ride through the back pages of the Pixies and PJ Harvey with multiple highlights. Her latest album is less immediately engaging, the sound is softer and more produced. Less chance for it to knock you into a doorway and kick your hat off. It's perplexingly angular at times especially on the drum and twang-guitared 'Out the Way' which builds big on a barrage of low down riffs. 'Yes Men' is another slowie built upon one of Nirvana's old riffs with her tremulous voice wavering atop.
Although the record hasn't knocked me into next week like 'Fast Food' I wonder if it's a grower. '2016' starts unpromisingly with lyrics about turning 30 and reading the back of food packaging but the chorus riff of 'Come over here I'll hold you tight' stays true. The use of synths here seems to plod a track that should be as raw as PJ Harvey's 'Dress'. It's almost like throughout I crave an Albini production and a few more good pop moves.
Not as thrilling as it perhaps should be but there's talent on show and I'm going to give it a few more chances (will update you).
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- Holiday Destination by Nadine Shah
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