Pixie Lott - Young Foolish Happy
Second album from the perky, peroxide pipette. (Alliteration ban starts now, K – Ed.) What’s changed? Not a lot. Or, more accurately, nowt. If it ain’t broke, hit ctrl and C and as you were. We kinda like Pixie Lott, though. We like that, as my old man used to say, she’d laugh if her arse was on fire. We like the fact that she’s button-cute, all fluffy blonde and mega-pins, without parading herself like a cheap chart tart. And we like the fact that she can really belt it. She got some lungs, to say the least.
Sadly, unlike Turn It Up, the hooks don’t come flying at you. That debut announced itself via ‘Girls and Boys’ (excellent, smart robo-pop) and managed enough of a drip feed of likeable hits (‘Cry Me Out’, ‘Turn It Up’, ‘Gravity’) to see it go on to sell over half a million copies in the UK. Some going in the current climate, blah blah. But Young Foolish Happy (clearly someone wanted to try to emulate the blank, words-as-mere-labelling stylings of a Love Angel Music Baby or Future Sex/Love Sounds) caves a little under the weight of its own sweat-laced effort. It’s too long by far and the addition of big name help (Stevie Wonder and the ubiquitous John Legend) is an irritant rather than a thrill.
It all sounds so plastic, of course, but it never has the confidence to embrace its electro leanings fully, so comes off sounding a little schizophrenic, neither programmed pop or cool and authentic. Dig a little bit for a sliver of soul and you find the likes of the marvellous ‘Nobody Does It Better’ but overall, the lasting impression is of a big voice made small by a barrage of manufacture. Somebody, seriously, stick her with a tight, live band and give her room to breathe and a chance to sing.