Thursday, 25 September 2008

Review - Hey Negrita - You Can Kick

Hey Negrita - You Can Kick

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3 out of 10

Assuming an American accent whilst singing popular music is, of course, standard practice. The best can do this and still sound genuine, their talent and emotion overcoming the strangeness of being actually from Finland, or wherever. The worst can destroy any amount of musical wonderment by sounding like inebriated wedding guests hacking into karaoke. Hey Negrita aren't that bad, but their vox-man Felix consistently fails to live up to the comparisons with Johnny Cash, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan others have unwisely made. The band know their Country chops well enough, and generally the album is a cleanly-made piece of Radio 2-friendly 'Americana'. There's some great harp-blowing (most notably on Here I Come) and Fishin' provides much of the collection's Brownie points with its Dire Straits-y opening and vocal harmonies. As for the rest, I'm afraid they don't live up to the hype. Some American newspaper may call them 'London's Creedence Clearwater Revival' - the Levellers in their old age without the politics would be more apt. With harmonica replacing the violin.

If you're Country to the bone and hang on Bob Harris' every word, then you'll want to wallow in all of this, no doubt - lyrics like 'cry the fire from your eyes' and 'I'm goin' fishin' with my Lord', and all. You may even see it as a freebie with the Daily Express in the future, it has that kind of vibe. As for true grit and interest, I say look elsewhere. Felix needs to knock off the John Denver and start gargling with Jack D if he is to provide some grist to his musical mill.


1. Room Service
2. Cold
3. Rope
4. Chained
5. Lay Me Down
6. Go Again
7. Pass You By
8. Lies
9. Here I Come
10. You Can Kick
11. Fishin'
12. The Last Thing That I Do

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