Single Review: Katy B – ‘Broken Record’

What an apt little title…

Okay, let’s get one (of maybe more…) thing(s) straight and clear: I do not like Katy B. I do not like the way she sings. I do not like her producer. I do not like her songs. I do not like the majority of artists she collaborates with. I do not like this watered-down, near-on anaemic amalgamation of drum machine and bleeps we are told to believe to be “dubstep”.

And that last complaint is what Katy B has thrust into the mainstream since her début with the head-scratching success of the pitiful ‘Katy On A Mission’. A lot of people welcomed her as one of the first artists in this new age of chart electronica, opening the doors for artists like Yasmin, Nero, Chase & Status and helping them achieve more recognition. To be honest though, I’ve always considered Pendulum to be the act that opened the doors to sub-genres like D&B, dubstep and electronica.

But what’s the point in Katy B as a recording artist? When other artists are doing dubstep wrongly and you’re doing it right, it must be very confusing to know that real dubstep like Chase & Status’ ‘Hypest Hype’, even now, is destined to end up somewhere outside the ever-so-esteemed UK Top 40 Single Charts whilst the likes of the whiny, nostril-powered Katy B and her half-baked dubstep shoot up to the higher regions of the same chart.

So, to answer the question I put forward earlier, there really is no point in Katy B as a recording artist. In a world where heavier dubstep/sub-electronica artists like Pendulum, Magnetic Man, Chase & Status, Example and Nero thrive, Katy B’s white-washed dubstep is about as feeble as a trifle in a hurricane and it’s hard to find something she provides that her other competitors don’t have already covered.

The song itself is a fairly lackadaisical club tune, with Katy’s acrobatic vocals scaling up and down to a backing of bored drum loops and tired synths. The chorus feel like one huge anticlimax, and there’s no catchy melody to redeem the song either. It seems to me that Katy B’s recent output undermines her musical career and the claims of being “something a little bit different to normal chart music”.

Here’s the video:

*Snore*

Katy B does actually sound like a ‘Broken Record’ now. Her dire excuse for dubstep and her shrill, nasal cry is beyond grating and is fast forming it’s own formula, of which it’s limit of originality is fast running being reached. None of her music gives me the euphoric feel that the dubstep heavyweights do. She’s like the equivalent of Pixie Lott of Ellie Goulding. She’ll please her fanbase; have the occasional hit that’ll please a wide band than just that, but ultimately, she’s nothing new of exciting at all.

Rating: 2.0 STARS

Download: March 28, 2011 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: ‘On A Mission’

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6 Comments

  1. Gerard McGarry

    I’ve gotta admit, Broken Record is a bit of a disappointment. I was a big fan of the last two singles Katy B released (though I had to look up Katy On A Mission just now). This lacks the brilliant hook of Lights On. There was something blissful about those earlier songs that’s completely missing from Broken Record.

    For me, I still like what she’s doing, and I like her vocals, although I can see exactly where you’re coming from! This attempt at trying to do a ballad in a Katy B ‘style’ fell flat on its face – she needs to go back to the formula she created with the first two singles!

  2. verysilvery445

    I’m not really sure why you keep referring to her as a “dubstep” artist when the only dubstep tracks she’s done are “Katy on a mission” and “perfect stranger” with magnetic man…you’re the only reviewer who seems to continuously include her in this genre. Since you know so much about the “dubstep heavyweights” then surely you can tell what dubstep sounds like…

    1. Gerard McGarry

      I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I have no idea what ‘dubstep’ is – I label all this stuff under dance/pop. But I’m sitting watching one of the music channels here, and they just introduced Katy B as a dubstep artist – so OddOne’s not alone in defining her this way 🙂

      Thing is, I can see her being quite a divisive artist – some people are going to absolutely love her, while others are going to struggle to see why she’s so unique. I really like Katy B, but this song hasn’t grown on me.

      1. Dara Hickey

        Thanks Gerard, I know what dubstep is, and am no stranger to the real article. So, whilst I wouldn’t label Katy as a ‘dubstep’ artist as much as I would a ‘dubstep-influenced pop’ artist, she fails to even do that. I’ll agree with you though – ‘Lights On’ and ‘Katy On A Mission’ did have vocal hooks but ‘Broken Record’ doesn’t have any, and, when paired with one of her weakest attempts at a dubstep-infused production, it just doesn’t tantalise at all.

      2. Dara Hickey

        Thanks Gerard, I know what dubstep is, and am no stranger to the real article. So, whilst I wouldn’t label Katy as a ‘dubstep’ artist as much as I would a ‘dubstep-influenced pop’ artist, she fails to even do that. I’ll agree with you though – ‘Lights On’ and ‘Katy On A Mission’ did have vocal hooks but ‘Broken Record’ doesn’t have any, and, when paired with one of her weakest attempts at a dubstep-infused production, it just doesn’t tantalise at all.

  3. Liink

    First of all I would like to say that this particular song is more DnB than Dubstep.

    I understand what you are saying about her not being a true Dubstep artist, But (this coming from a subscriber of UKF Dubstep and DnB) you have to understand that people aren’t generally interested in hardcore Dubstep and DnB, most people want generic pop that they can follow with a hint of Dubstep and DnB to spice it up. This is why Katy B is popular.

    Each to their own, at least try to understand other people’s point of view even if you don’t agree with it. And stop reviewing this as if it is hardcore Dubstep, because it isn’t and it wasn’t intended to be.

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