Track of the Day: 'Katy on a Mission'

By Brendan Hasenstab

Past TracksDubstep is a genre that truly venerates the producer, not the vocalist. Half the time, in fact, the vocals in dubstep tracks have been so processed that you can't determine the singer's gender. (Yes, Burial, I'm looking at you.) But as time has passed, dubstep has mutated into other forms, such as UK Funky and Bass music, and in these offshoots the vocalists are cracking through.

Case in point: Katy B, a 21-year-old ingénue from London who has become the first crossover success story in this very insular corner of electronic music. This cut was the lead single from her debut album, On A Mission, which is stacked deep with production talent (including Benga, Zinc, and Rinse FM station head Geeneus), but you won't be paying a great deal of attention to the knob-twiddlers. It's Katy's show, utterly.

This track is a wonderfully catchy blend of juddering, buzzy synth lines and fractured funky beats from Benga. Floating above it all is Katy, singing a delightfully feminine ode to the joys of a great night at the club. (A night that is certain to "end too soon.") And while there is a good scoop of soulfulness to her delivery, Katy isn't a melisma monster. Credit that to excellent training at the BRIT School and Goldsmiths' College.

There are at least two other cuts on this album worthy of being named Track of the Day, but I can't be greedy. And don't just take my word for it! Esteemed UK music critic Simon Price recently tweeted "Maybe going out on a limb here but unless I've gone insane, the @KatyBmusic album is sounding like a modern pop classic." You're safe on this one, Pricey. I completely agree.



On iTunes: Katy B. / "Katy On a Mission"

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This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/05/track-of-the-day-katy-on-a-mission/238296/