Kate Nash is going to extremes to shed that cutesy, lovelorn teen image she courted when her single Foundations became an out-of-nowhere hit a few years ago. Case in point: the beat poet blast of Mansion Song, where Nash lets fly a hefty dose of "fucks" while railing against sexism in rock. It's a jarring yet commanding song that reflects Nash's newfound interest in the riot grrrl era.
Disappointingly, she doesn't go all the way with this new, abrasive approach. Instead, she lets ex-Suede guitarist and Duffy mastermind Bernard Butler smother the album with corny string and brass sections that try but fail to impose a 60s girl-group aesthetic, as on Paris and lead single Do-Wah-Doo. After all, it's the unapologetic, feedback-filled I Just Love You More, Mansion Song and stripped-bare You Were So Far Away that make the album compelling.
Top track: Mansion Song
Kate Nash plays the Mod Club Monday (April 26).