V.V. Brown - Travelling Like The Light

V.V.'s debut is bubbly, unadulterated pop, pure of heart and lacking in pretentions.

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Released 14 Jul 2009 | Island | By Anna Dobbie | Rating: 3-5
V.V. Brown - Travelling Like The Light

Only slightly over half a year ago, we were sitting here heads in hands bemoaning the lack of aspirational, iconic frontwomen, and clearly someone up beyond the clouds was listening closely because we've been spoilt with a positive glut of feisty female singers in 2009. Lucky old us, eh?

With Florence and La Roux currently on the top CD shelves in supermarkets near you, V.V. Brown is at the tail-end of the craze album-wise after previous attempts at its release being curtailed due to an "artistic change of direction", but that's certainly not to say that 'Travelling Like The Light' doesn't stand up to the competition. Aside from giving cute, retro hairstyling inspiration for the summer months, V.V.'s debut is bubbly, unadulterated pop, pure of heart and lacking in pretentions.

The opening dog-tail-trapped-in-car-door yelp over rolling drums immediately hints at the singer's effervescent personality, moving into rockabilly 'Quick Fix'. 'Game Over' treads on Gaga's territory with poker references scattered over horn-infused retro R n B, while knockout single 'Shark In The Water' takes a classic contemporary riff and some barmy lyrics about barking sharks to make a stupidly catchy, sure-fire summer anthem. V.V.'s versatile vocals really sell this debut, sometimes raspy, sometimes soft, allowing her personality to shine through and giving the songs an unforeseen emotional depth. She flits through tales of woe, giving them a bitter-sweet uptempo sheen, for example doo-wopping 'Leave!', which instructs a mistreated partner to look over their rose-tinted sunglasses at the grim reality of their failing relationship.

With this superb debut, not to mention making it into the top ten of the BBC Sound poll and a slot on the Pyramid stage at Glasto, it leaves you wondering how her first two singles failed to chart and Radio One are yet to include 'Shark In The Water' on their playlist?13/07/09Anna Dobbie