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Album review: Little Boots' 'Hands'

March 1, 2010 |  7:37 pm

Littleboots_hands_2 In the video for Little Boots' "Remedy," the artist, known in real-life as Victoria Hesketh, comes off as somewhat of an amateur Lady Gaga, sporting what looks to be triangular glass in her dyed Princess Leia-like hair. The British artist has played the role of a pop star before, rising to Internet fame by covering hit songs using a Japanese light-up gadget as the primary instrument. 

There's no such fooling around on "Remedy," where Hesketh borrows Lady Gaga's producer in RedOne. Spooked electronics give way to a giant chorus, and Hesketh toys with a stalking "predator" by showing off her moves on the dance floor. She doesn't have much money, she tells us over cosmopolitan stop-and-start keyboards on "New in Town," but she knows how to have a good time.  

Just now being released in the U.S., "Hands" was issued last summer in Britain, and "Stuck on Repeat," a slick little Euro-dance number, dates to 2008. No matter, the vintage futurism that drapes Hesketh's songs has stayed in vogue, and there's fun to be had here. "Earthquake" is packed with sharp, popping disco effects, and Hesketh, all upper-register sweetness, gets a baroque, carnival-like backdrop on "Ghosts."

Yet "Symmetry," a duet with the Human League's Philip Oakey, is more '80s parody than homage, and the inclusion of a bare-boned hidden track hints at what could have been. Paired down to a piano, Hesketh spins a tale about a quest to use technology to cure a broken heart. It's a clever little romance and evidence of a more unique personality that's yet to break out of Hesketh's digital creations. 

--Todd Martens

Little Boots
"Hands"
Elektra Entertainment
Two and a half stars (Out of four)

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