Dec 31, 2020

Best electronic albums of 2020: two

2 kelly lee owens fat roland electronic albums of 2020
2 – Kelly Lee Owens – Inner Song (Smalltown Supersound)

Ooo, it's a corker. If you've not fallen for Inner Song yet, do it now. Listen to it. Eat it. Bathe in it. Tattoo it on your face.

Previously, I've rather brashly compared Inner Song to Leftfield's Leftism, not because of its sound, but because of its eclectic approach to production. In the same way Leftfield embraced dub reggae shanties alongside hard house, Kelly Lee Owens' second album encompasses soulful vocals, wall-shaking club cuts, and every frequency inbetween. I have no doubt that if this album had been released in the mid-90s, it would have been a go-to coffee table album just like Leftism.

She uses this variation as structure. There's a pin-ball nature to the track listing, volleying between sugar soft vocals and aerobic techno workouts. It's like watching a tennis match between Betty Boop and Mr Motivator. And Owens nails every return because she's possibly the most talented producer in Britain at the moment.

There are two headline moments on Inner Song. The first is her buzzy Radiohead cover Arpeggi. The second is her collaboration with fellow Welsh musician John Cale, whose druggy drawl on Corner Of My Sky was described by James Spearing at Picky B*stards as "the best thing anyone from the Velvet Underground has done since 1972".

On any other album, those two remarkable moments would be the things you remember the most. Not here. Everything else is so dang brilliant. The descending synth on Melt! The euphoria of Jeanette. The the cheeky bass drum nudging its way into On

Whether it pounds or patters or pumps or purrs, each track has an, erm, inner song you'll want to play again and again.

Small print: please do not tattoo this album on your face.


No comments: