It’s really no wonder that Kate Nash renders so much comparison to fellow English singer-songwriter and contemporary, Lilly Allen, what with her distinct accent, likable pop songs and a penchant for lyrics centered around relationships and the many complexities that characterize them.
The Allen-esque single “Foundations” is sure to attract a host of fans, particularly among the young female demographic, as Nash contemplates a deteriorating relationship, which she can’t help but hold on to. Surely, Nash sings about universal issues for many women in this particular age group, and this is a part of her charm, which, although a little cliché, actually becomes a guilty pleasure and indulgence midway through the album. Also memorable is the tune that is arguably the apex of the album, the catchy and infectious “Mouthwash.” This witty number about retaining a relative sense of self-confidence regardless of how someone makes her feel is one of the album’s best offerings. The highly addictive “Pumpkin Soup,” a smooth melody about the clear distinction between sex and love, and the quirky, highly catchy “Skeleton Song” about coming to terms with and appreciating oneself, are also worth a listen.
The hypnotic “Dickhead” and playful “Shit Song” also stand out as enjoyable, catchy pop, though the occasional underdeveloped filler emerges at various points. The bouncy beats and swirling accoutrements add some color to Nash’s mostly acoustic, raw songs, never detracting from the nuanced anecdotes she relates. Nash has an impressive proclivity for telling stories in keen detail, usually involving some kind of confusing romance or complex conflict in a relationship, as seen in her honest, pointed, always amusing lyrics: “Think you know everything / You really don’t know nothing / I wish that you were more intelligent / So you could see that what you are doing / Is so shitty, to me,” or the always familiar words of disappointing revelation: “You’re chatting to me, like we connect / But I don’t even know if we’re still friends / It’s so confusing / Understanding you is making me not want to,” and lastly, the too-relatable impossibilities of getting over someone: “I don’t ever dream / About you and me … But I must admit that there is still a part / That thinks that we should get on.”
All in all, Nash’s Made of Bricks is sometimes soulful, sometimes sassy and sometimes surprising, as Nash takes a primarily piano-driven aesthetic and makes it into a consistently interesting album that will inevitably find its enthusiasts in the same kind of audience that made Lily Allen a household name. Though not creating anything particularly innovative or unique, Nash still manages to show promise and proves she is able to contend in a world where she could all too readily fall into an unavoidable cliché. It is almost entirely predictable that people will find something to relate to and enjoy, as Nash proves that boy problems, relationships, identity and insecurity are ultimately transatlantic, and there is a reason the tried-and-true formula she employs usually works.