Kate Nash: My Best Friend Is You

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Kate Nash
My Best Friend Is You
(Polydor)

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Kate Nash fires back with her second studio release, entitled My Best Friend Is You. It’s an album that would be heard entirely differently by a kid and an adult because of the way the lyrics and melodies often stand in such direct opposition to one another. There is a beautiful cynicism to this record. In the song, “Paris,” for instance, a chorus of Kates chant, “You’ll never listen to me,” while triumphant music builds, and then the cynicism finally bursts when she says, “You said you’d lend me anything… I think I’ll have your company!”

Savage wit colors the song, “Kiss That Grrl,” as she jealously picks the other girl apart. At times, the songs lack a coherence, jumping from upbeat rage to quieter, more intimate threats. I particularly like the simple, humorous beginning to the song, “Don’t You Want to Share the Guilt,” when she sings, “Barbecue food… is good” to go on to sing about a relationship at a difficult stage and all the vulnerabilities associated with it…ending with a vomiting of all of her deep-seeded thoughts that can’t be said, followed by instructions not to think.  This is truly how it goes.  Kate has this amazing conversational quality to all of her lyrics. She is at once confessing and moving forward.

Another favorite part of this album is the radically grungy “I Just Love You More,” a repetitious, obsessive, dark track that is simple and so different from all the others that it slices the album right in half…in a good way. After this, the album goes in an upbeat and cheerful direction as though a cheerleading squad has reentered the scene. At this point, however, the rants get slightly tiresome.  Further on, she experiments with jigs, tribal rhythms, and acoustics until she finally stops torturing herself and makes her own peace at the end of the album. Some would say this album lacks some cohesion, but if Kate is replicating what a woman goes through, that is certainly not cohesive.

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