Friday, November 20th, 2009

Kid Sister – Right Hand Hi

So she’s had her nails done, then…


Melissa Bradshaw: I have never understood why anyone EVER bought into plastic ghetto, except the kind of people that think Diplo is like, dope or something.

Alex Macpherson: On first listen, “Right Hand Hi” comes across as a straight pop crossover bid – which just illustrates how successfully Kid Sister purées its disparate elements into a cohesive whole to make probably the best hip-house track of the year. It’s also a model example of how to integrate current favoured sounds into a song while remaining distinct. 2009’s ubiquitous ravey synths are present and correct (and allied to an anthemic, ridiculously catchy chorus), but Kid Sister’s deftness of touch prevents this from being mere trend-jacking: they’re just one of the many ingredients at her disposal, along with jittery juke beats, B-more booty bass, Chicago house, hip-pop attitude and a hugely endearing sense of fun. Also necessary: the superb, Robin S-incorporating Kingdom remix.

Alex Ostroff: The American invasion of hip-house? Wonderful. The beat morphs constantly, never staying the same for more than 30 seconds until it loops back to the chorus’ stabbing synths. The massive singalong chorus had me convinced that “Right Hand Hi” was preparing to tear up the pop and/or dance charts, but Google informs me that it’s been out since July and has yet to make a dent. Surely in the year of “Boom Boom Pow”, we can show Kid Sister a little bit of love?

Cecily Nowell-Smith: I have no idea what a right-hand hi is but I can only assume it’s got something to do with the dumb euphoria reflex triggered by those big ravey dayglo synths. No sound gets my hands in the air quicker. I am glad Kid Sister understands! She’s got an excellent voice, goofy, cutesy, stoopid, burbling through her verses with sheer glee. “I’ll put a little hurtin’ on ya – and I’ll do it in some heels!” she playground-taunts, and the music hangs low, waits its moment, and bursts up again in mindless multicolour glory. I dunno about you, but I have both hands high.

David Moore: Part of me feels like I’m being pandered to pretty hardcore here, which I should probably resent more. But it’s so frivolous and actually-fun that I’m more mildly charmed than anything else — throws out about five just-OK synth-beat ideas but smashes between them cavalierly, almost ineptly, with a kind of energy that her rapping will never match (she’s basically wallpaper on everything I’ve ever heard from her, but at least it’s interesting wallpaper, more rhythmic texture than anything else). And just when it starts to get tiresome it picks its best beat and rides on fumes to the last stupid tinny gunshot SFX thing. Good enough!

Anthony Miccio: OK, I got Wale kept introducing himself, but it’s not like anyone’s going to mispronounce “Kid Sister.” Maybe she’s worried we’ll forget her.

Chuck Eddy: Ultraviolet has an excellent shot at my year-end top ten if I don’t get brave and go the all-reissues route. And while I wouldn’t say this lead cut is a primary reason why, she’s throwing her hand in the air like she just don’t care over boogie-woogie ’80s Chicago house pianos, so why complain? Album slows down in the middle, mainly during the collaboration cuts. And I miss “Family Reunion” with David Banner, originally my favorite song on the Dream Date advance, and vocal presence lacks somewhat until the last few tracks. Overall, though, Yazoo-looping “Big N Bad” and proto-freestyley “54321” make the new version an improvement fun-wise. (Other tracks I’d rate higher than “Right Hand Hi”: “Switch Board,” “Get Fresh,” “Control,” maybe “Life On TV.”) And albumwide, the giddiness of Kid Sis’s diction and electro-scratch beats more than makes up for any lack of definition in her personality.

Pete Baran: For all her technical excellence and that great catch in her voice, this Kid Sister track works so well because of its Nintendous backing track (which is a little reminiscent in places of the Enya remix of Yo Majesty’s “Club Action”). A perfect mix of Kid Sister’s cute rapping verses and a brutally efficient chorus which reminds us incessantly and effectively who the artist is.

Matt Cibula: Not sure what I love most about this, it’s all fun. Actually I’m pretty sure it’s all about the rhythm tracks, all of ’em — it’s like an ‘Ultimate Beats and Breaks’ greatest hits, only condensed and made happy-like. Overexposed hatesters are cordially invited to lighten up and/or suck it.

3 Responses to “Kid Sister – Right Hand Hi”

  1. Agreed with Chuck on the last few tracks, which hit in part because you realize she’s actually quite a good singer, and that when her singing and harmonies start up a bit more prominently (IIRC, anyway, only listened to the thing once all the way thru so far) you keep the rhythmic interest and add some personality to her voice. Which might make her the inverse Missy Elliott or something (not that she’s in the same league as Missy).

  2. it’s funny Matt C likes the drum tracks best — they contain the one thing in the record that I find off, which is that idiotic gun-cock noise that’s regular in the choruses but happens in some really ill-considered, distracting place during the verse.

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