Dub-inspired Cook grows up to create a sound that is truly her own
Hollie Cook’s 2011 self-titled debut was a slightly lightweight but ultimately enjoyable and modern collection of lovers rock. For her less conventional-sounding follow-up, she and producer Prince Fatty have beefed up the basslines, giving her tropical pop songs a dubby atmosphere. Opener ‘Ari Up’ is a tribute to The Slits’ late frontwoman (Cook played in the band until Ari’s death in 2010), and begins with a melody straight from a Gregorian chant. ‘Desdemona’, with its sad verses and joyous chorus, is a song of two brilliant halves, and the minor classics keep on coming: ‘Tiger Balm’, ‘Looking For Real Love’ and the string-heavy title track. Best of all is ‘Superfast’, so good it could’ve been recorded 35 years ago in Kingston (Jamaica, not Upon-Thames).