Sunday, July 19, 2009

VV Brown "Travelling Like The Light"

VV Brown was on just as many next big thing lists and magazine hype charts a few months back as current success stories as La Roux and Lady Gaga but doesn't seem to have had the same good fortunes as other pop ladies of late (in fact I dread to think what those sniping over Little Boots "failure" would say about VV). A self styled "doo wop indie" artist (yeah, I don't know how to take that term either) she has set out to establish as a kooky individual artist, one happy to dress up in endlessy hip vintage outfits and take the Duffy retro pop mould and give it a bit of sass. And for the most part she has succeeded.

Two "buzz singles" (yeah, right.) "Leave!" and "Crying Blood" despite fizzing with energy and menace and meaty hooks failed to make any real headaway earlier on in the year and sadly her current release "Shark In The Water" has yet to really catch on despite being an effortless piece of summer pop with a brilliant chorus and a suitably glossy video:

But what about the album itself? Well admittedly it took me a few listens but it stands up as a well rounded and enjoyable debut. Ultimately the album is at its best when VV is handing out stacks of attitude on the aforementioned singles and tracks like "Quick Fix" and "Game Over" but she handles other moods too on tracks such as the sultry "Bottles" and "I Love You" which show off her impressive voice. Brown has charm, character and personality in spades and an obvious ear for a decent tune (she was involved in the writing of much of the album and has previous writing credits for both the Pussycat Dolls and Sugababes) and the album stands strong as a sharp collection of songs (though does tail off slightly near the end).

Her lack of success so far seems to be because of no connection made with the general public or radio. She has in fact recieved a large amount of press, TV coverage and has been seen in all the right places. Between this and the strong material it is impossible to see why she hasn't become a huge star. But if its one thing the current pop climate has taught us its that newbie success is by no means an exact science.

Still all these fears aside, this album offers a great introduction to an artist with plenty of potential and is well worth your time. Brown might not be scaling the heights of La Roux, Little Boots or Lady Gaga but she has offered a thoroughly enjoyable album. And besides anyone who can produce a single that sounds a bit like "The Monster Mash" is worth your time.

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