There was a time when teen pop singles followed very predictable templates, appealed to a very specific age range and were built with a short shelf life. Shannon K reminds us that all that is in the past, we no longer have to take age into consideration and even music aimed at the youngest musical market can be as slick and sophisticated as anything that the more established performers can deliver. A level musical playing field indeed.
Lately is a soulful pop master class built on purposefully lazy backbeats and minimal instrumentation that allows the vocal to become the focal point of the song. A blend of innocent teen narrative and universal wisdom run through the simple but direct lyrics and the whole package takes pop to new heights of soulful finesse.
As always the joining of an artists musical dots often follows the joining of geographical ones and so it is no surprise that Lately is an effortless blend of London style and West Coast cool, with a wonderful taste of Indian exoticism creeping in around the edges. They say East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet! But when it does, as Shannon K proves beyond doubt, the results are spectacular.
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Words: Dave Franklin