PIXIE LOTT Pixie Lott Vir­gin EMI ★★★

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - KEVIN COURT­NEY

The third al­bum from the young Bri­tish songstress is proudly in­flu­enced by the Stax soul of the 1960s. The songs are re­plete with stomp­ing north­ern soul beats and stri­dent brass, with Lott’s voice as bold and brassy as she’s ever sounded. If she hasn’t quite stamped her per­son­al­ity on the cur­rent pop can­vas, this col­lec­tion of con­fi­dent tunes might just do it. The open­ing track, Nasty, feels a lit­tle un­com­fort­able in the light of Mi­ley Cyrus’s overtly sex­ual ap­proach. But with its big, saxy beats it sounds more like Bey­oncé’s Crazy in Love as sung by Lulu. Hap­pily, Lay Me Down, Cham­pion, Heart Cry and Ocean all avoid sound­ing too retro. The al­bum is a smart mix of old soul and nu pop, and if it doesn’t quite reach Katy Perry lev­els of pop alchemy, there’s enough Pixie dust to cre­ate some magic of its own. Down­load: Nasty, Break-up Song, Heart Cry, Out With a Bang

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