wears the trousers magazine


amanda blank: i love you (2009)
August 24, 2009, 7:15 am
Filed under: album, mp3, review, video | Tags: , , ,

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Amanda Blank
I Love You ••
Downtown

On paper, Philadelphia’s Amanda Blank is an exciting proposition. She comes across well in interviews, her strong stage presence ensures that live appearances never fail to be memorable, and, perhaps most importantly, her credibility has been enhanced by having operated outside of the mainstream for the past few years – her cool factor also not exactly damaged by keeping company with the likes of Ghostface Killah, Santigold and Yuksek. It’s fair to say, then, that expectations have been built up high for her long-awaited debut album I Love You, and for 33 minutes, hipsters, scenesters and nasty teens can release all their pent up anticipation that began a few months ago with the release of the unequivocally rude first single ‘Might Like You Better’.

The first thing to point out is that I Love You is not a nice album about clouds and coastal walks. This lady sings about being “the hottest motherfucker on the whole damn block” and makes no bones about the fact that she is on a mission to “reclaim filthy lyrics from men”. True to her word, she does indeed spit ’em out like a sailor here. The second thing to point out is that, honestly, there just isn’t much going on beneath all the posturing. It starts out well though. Album opener ‘Make It Take It’ is an arresting and fun-filled rap-rock ride and the closest I Love You comes to sounding like Peaches, which is no bad thing at all. But it fast becomes apparent that Blank critically lacks the Peach’s sense of focus and lyrical inventiveness. Flip-flopping between hip hop and sleazy electro, she seems unsure of whether she wants to dance or fuck the pain away, making for an incohesive and sometimes jarring listen.

‘DJ’ crawls along like a Madonna D-side and never really takes off, while ‘Something Bigger, Something Better’ is just plain repetitive. ‘Shame On Me’ and ‘Love Song’ are bearable enough despite their overplay on the fact that Blank just “can’t stay on the tracks” – sadly, we are neither familiar nor fond enough at this stage to care – and it’s left to album closer ‘Leaving You Behind’ to supply what is probably the album’s most remarkable track. Here, Blank sings rather than attacking with her distinctive quickfire rapping, but it’s the rather curious addition of the delightful Lykke Li providing haunting backing vocals that edges the song out of two-dimensionality.

Failing to live up to its promise, I Love You comes across as a mixed bag that aims for a vacant sense of dancefloor edginess and is in fact downright boring at times. Blank comes across as messy minded and lacking any sort of tangible identity. After all, there is more to music than rapping dirty simply to redeem trash-talk from the menfolk.

Chris Catchpole
UK release date: 14/09/09; www.myspace.com/amandablank

 

FREE MP3: Amanda Blank, ‘Might Like You Better’ [via RCRDLBL]
FREE MP3: Amanda Blank, ‘Make It Take It’ [via RCRDLBL] 

 

‘Might Like You Better’

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2 Comments so far
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Aww, I love Amanda. Agree that it was a rather mixed bag, but overall loving it alot more then you. Love her reworking of LL’s classic too. She rules.

Comment by C

[…] Clatworthy 21/9] 48 Amy Millan – Masters Of The Burial [Caitlin Ward 7/9] 49 Amanda Blank – I Love You [Chris Catchpole 24/8] 50 A Fine Frenzy – Bomb In A Birdcage [Matt Barton […]

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