thecocknbullkid - Cocknbullkid / Adulthood (Demo) - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

thecocknbullkid - Cocknbullkid / Adulthood (Demo)

by Rich Morris Rating:9 Release Date:2010-06-16

After way too long a sabbatical, Anita Blay, Hackney-based pop goddess-in-waiting, is back with some electrifyingly great new material on her MySpace. Blay previously released a couple of fantastic warning shots in 'Own My Own' and 'I'm Not Sorry', both of which sadly went largely unnoticed as music journos, faced with an unprecedented slew of female singer/songwriters, elected to champion La Roux's phallic quiff and Gaga's exploding norks instead.

But now she's back with a stormy, cheekily self-referential soul number that knocks every recent 'nu-soul' number into a hat marked 'cocked'. 'Cocknbullkid' takes a look at Blay's pop persona, skipping between perceived slights (in interviews, Blay has been forthright about the assumptions people in 'the biz' made based on her race/gender/figure/hair length) and bitter, nigh-schizophrenic self-analysis. The delicious irony is that, accompanied by swelling stings and thumping piano, Blay makes lines like "Sounds like a boy but she's a lady" and "She's a bullshitter" sound positively redemptive.

And so to 'Adulthood', a demo which should surely form the b-side of a classic single. Just as soulful as 'Cocknbullkid' but bleaker and more fragile, this song bravely tries to face down the existential muddle that is early adulthood. Adrift again in a sea of self-loathing, but armed with mordent wit, Blay sings: "My father turned my mother into everything he hated/ and my mother turned my father into every guy I dated." As with 'Cocknbullkid', it's all put to a pop tune so accomplished you'll catch yourself singing along.

Blay had to endure a lot of lazy comparisons the first time around, largely due to the music press' insistence on making 2009 one long extra-patronising 'ladies' night', but the artist she really deserves comparison to is Morrissey. Like Morrissey, Blay happily lays into the trio of myths which together hold up shit pop and shit pop culture: that young love is the best ever, that one's teens and early twenties are halcyon times full of promise, great sex and wild parties rather than what they actually are (confusing, overlong and ultimately embarrassing to recall) and, above all, that life is one long fairy tale which always pays off as long as you just want it enough. And, like Morrissey, Blay makes these points simply and elegantly by putting them to exemplary, perfectly-realised pop. Long may she continue to do so.

Comments (2)

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Excellent review, hope she gets recognition.

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Well, her album's realeased soon and we'll certainly be reviewing that!

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