Little Boots: Hands

RIYL: Annie, Kylie Minogue, The Ting Tings

You have to admire the tenacity of UK pop stars. They keep trying to crack the American market, even though most of them are met with the equivalent of a hair tousle and a cheek pinch. “Oh, you’re so cute. Keep on trying, you’ll get there.” Of course, most of them never get there, and of the few that do, many owe it to their ill-gotten celebrity status (Amy, meet drugs; Lily, meet topless photos) as much if not more than their music, but you have to think that if anyone is going to buck this trend, it’s Little Boots, the solo pseudonym for former Dead Disco member Victoria Hesketh. For starters, look at her.


Yep, she’s gorgeous, and her debut album Hands is stuffed to the gills with perky dance song after perky dance song not unlike a certain Ms. Gaga, though there are varying degrees of quality. “New in Town” is one of those earworm-type songs that will own your soul, “Stuck on Repeat” playfully tweaks the “I Feel Love” keyboard line, and she winks knowingly to her synth-pop predecessors by tapping the Human League’s Phil Oakey for a duet on “Symmetry.” She’s not blessed with the strongest set of pipes, but then again, neither is Madonna, and her voice is at least as good as, say, Lady Gaga, Rihanna or Katie from the Ting Tings. And with a hook like the chorus to “Remedy,” vocal power is almost beside the point.

Still, the bias against UK pop in the States is a strong one – ask Robbie Williams. Hands should be a hit on both sides of the pond, but any music fan will tell you that there are lots of albums that should have been hits. Will Little Boots be one of them? Who the hell knows, but there is enough here to entertain the question. (Elektra 2010)

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