Trouble – Natalia Kills

Released 3rd September 2013 on Interscope/ Cherry Tree

Electronic/ Pop/ Synth-Pop


The second release from British electro-pop artist Natalia Kills, Trouble delivers everything expected of it: snarky teenage rebellion, a brilliant set of hard electronic beats, and bonus daddy issues just to add depth. From the opening of Television all the way through to the climactic title track this record just keeps on pumping out the kind of tunes every twelve year old is listening to the radio for. There’s nothing really bad about any of this, I mean the music is incredibly catchy and the lyrics aren’t badly written even if they are pretty dull, but overall I just found this record… well, a little bit silly.

What I’m talking about is the constant self-aggrandisement through self-deprecation with tracks like Problem and Daddy’s Girl. I mean, how many times to do you have to tell me how troubled you are? It just makes the whole character somewhat unbelievable and more than a little bit daft, right up until the point where it even started to annoy me. Constant references to her absentee father, swears thrown in just to offend (and never succeeding), and ‘dangerous’ attitudes all swirl together into some kind of stupid cliché of rebellion which in no way actually has any kind of impact. It’s all a bit sad really.

To be fair, however, the music on Trouble is a perfect balance of pure pop catchiness and actually interesting beat and genre mixes. I mean, the hip-hop/R’n’B vocals of Daddy’s Girl mixed in with the outright rock and roll guitar riffs and a hook taken straight from the electro-pop of the nineties works very in its mission to get stuck in your head for days to come, and the pounding beats of Problem and Rabbit Hole are a lot of fun to thump along to.

Of course, like almost every overtly commercial record, the album is primarily built around a string of singles and consequently has its fair share of filler tracks. Devils Don’t Fly and Watching You really don’t live up the other material on this record musically. I mean, the compositions are bland and come across as exactly what they are – an easy way to get from one hit over to the next and make it look like there’s a full album here. They’re not the worst space holders I’ve ever heard, but still they do tend to drag the album down just when it was all getting interesting.

The other problem here is that, while the music is a lot of fun and really rather catchy, it is the same music that I’ve already heard on albums from the likes of Lady Gaga and Rihanna. I suppose Britain had to find their answer to these charismatic pop sensations eventually, but I didn’t really expect that it was all going to sound this similar. I guess I just would have liked a little bit of originality somewhere on this record and I was rather disappointed when I didn’t find it. Now, don’t get me wrong, the music on Trouble is good in just the same way that I think the music on Fame was good, but it’s just not exciting as it was when I first heard it with Gaga.

So, in conclusion I’ve got to say that this second effort at glory from Natalia Kills is altogether an average effort. Everything’s catchy and fun enough, but the lyrics are ridiculous; some great hits are thrown in with some tragic filler material which ruins the good stuff; and the beats are fantastic apart from the fact that they’re entirely unoriginal. I don’t really know what else to say. It really just falls dead centre into the realms of mediocrity, not teetering too far towards either the mildly interesting or the truly appalling. I’ve given it a good and through listen and I just can’t bring myself to care anymore about it than I would a minute of silence.

RATING: ***/5


And here’s the clip for Controversy. One of the catchier and more interesting tracks from Trouble.

There’s a fun game to play with this album called ‘where have I heard this melody before?’

I can tell you right now that there’s at least one Eurovision rip off and at least one from The Beatles.


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