Kate Nash’s third studio album ‘Girl Talk’ offers a much different slant from the English singer/songwriter. The album can be seen as a departure from what Kate Nash first established with her first album ‘Made Of Bricks’. Most of the pop-elements of Nash’s music seems to have disappeared to be replaced by a rather raw and grunge sound. ‘Girl Talk’ is a much more raw and even visceral album, which is very different from what Nash has done before. It seems that Nash has indulged herself in making an album of material that she wants to make, which we could attribute to the fact that she has self-released the album, meaning that all the creative input on the album is no longer hindered by her previous record label. The end result of this independent release is almost a rock-album, with electric guitars dominating a lot of songs, and Nash shouting the vocals.
It seems that ‘Girl Talk’ is somewhat of a polarising album. It seems radically different from her previous work, and so in ways there’s people who will embrace Nash’s new style, and enjoy the fact that she is now producing a sound that she wants to produce. At the same time, there might be fans of hers who will be disappointed in this new sound. Frankly, I find it to be admirable when an artist is willing to try something new, and especially when they try something new because they really want to, and not because it is guaranteed to sell well. ‘Girl Talk’ is almost a risky album for Kate Nash, as it is very different from what she has produced before. It is interesting, as there’s a real raw energy to the album, which seems to dominate the entire album as it shifts from song to song. It’s full of energy and power, and in fairness to Kate Nash, she’s actually managed to produce a fairly good album that actually works well with the new style. It must be said that even Nash’s vocals are sounding good on this album. There’s still an emphasis on accented words, with Nash singing in what I’d describe as a heavy English accent, yet for some people that is actually the appeal of Nash. On ‘Girl Talk’, Nash’s vocal style has continued this, whilst adding a visceral slant to a few of the songs. It’s interesting, and perhaps at times just that little bit intimidating.
I actually feel that there is a fair amount to enjoy on ‘Girl Talk’. It isn’t a perfect record, as there’s perhaps too much rawness to some of the songs. It feels quite empowering and almost feminist at times, which makes it interesting, but it does mean that the album doesn’t have a lot more than this to offer. Most of the songs are full of energy and power, which at first is interesting, but by the end of the album is just a bit tiring. I’d also go as far to say that a lot of the songs seem to follow the same structure, with it featuring guitar-riffs, accompanied by shouting vocals. Whilst it works for some of the songs, it just doesn’t work for all of them, and the album would be much more interesting if there was some diversity. There is the appearance of some more gentle songs on the album, most notably towards the end, where the closing track seems to demonstrate a style at the end which isn’t present on any part of the album. It is interesting, but also perhaps a little disappointing, as some of the more repetitive songs might benefit from being replaced by songs of this style.
I feel that ‘Girl Talk’ might actually be one of Kate Nash’s most interesting works. I actually would consider her move into the independent scene to actually be a strength for her, even if it is one that she needs to work on. The album ‘Girl Talk’ seems to demonstrate some brilliant ideas and styles that Kate Nash has clearly embraced, but at times, they don’t seem to work as well as she might have hoped. It is certainly a style I’d love to see her do more of, and I certainly hope that she’ll continue to use it in future, and refine it for her future releases. For now, ‘Girl Talk’ remains perhaps just a taster of what Kate Nash is hoping to establish. Incredibly flawed and imperfect, it at least shows that there are some artists willing to do something different, and perhaps something that is true to themselves.
- ★★★☆☆ 3/5
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