Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Kate Nash – Do Wah Doo

I think I saw her crossing the road in Leeds once. Vaguely remember her carrying a baguette…


Jonathan Bogart: Glorious girl-group-gone-stadium production, a vamping go-go orchestra squeezed into a three-by-five box, let down quite badly by a lyric that aims for sassy and hits precious, not even living up to the song’s own plastic-cathedral retro standards. So naturally it’s at its keenest, Technicolor best when she’s not singing lyrics, just babbling the chorus. (Surely it should have been titled “Bum Ba Dum”?) I like, even love, the lo-fi surf-garage riff, the not-quite-Motown beat, the orchestration squeezed into corners by compression; but I’m unable to buy into her cutesy, self-satisfied chirp or her declawed cattiness. It’s 2010, Kate; you can say the word “bitch.”

Edward Okulicz: It’s truly shocking that a moderately successful artist like Kate Nash, whatever your opinion of her, could consider this worthy of release, let alone as the lead single off an album. The construction is incredibly thin, with a single verse and a chorus that has no words and barely more of a melodic foundation, the drab lyrics carry rhymes you can see coming four lines in advance, delivered with what can only be called smug, self-satisfied and downright Lily Allen-esque conceit, with the same sense of forced whimsy to boot.

Anthony Easton: The last 30 seconds of this is the most annoying thing I have heard in mainstream pop in a long, long time. If you are hanging out by yourself, does that not mean you can stop singing?

Michaelangelo Matos: Well, the background has some sharpness and definition, and while that doesn’t make her words any less dumb, it does make them a little easier to deal with as they pass, even if she does sing them indolently.

John Seroff: There’s enough instrumentation here for two songs, but it doesn’t seem to add up to much. Too cutesy to be noisy, too ragged to be grand and too haphazard to be soulful; “Do Wah Doo” could use about ten more minutes in the oven.

Pete Baran: I quite like the music, but then Nash sings what has to be the dullest lyric in a career of writing dull lyrics over the top in her dull voice.

Alex Macpherson: The nadir of this song is easily that awful, smug pause as Nash thuddingly expounds, “Everyone thinks that girl’s a lady; but I don’t, I – think – that – girl’s – shady.” Aurally patting yourself on the back for a line so anodyne really isn’t a good look; when Nash goes on to petulantly declare that she’ll “just read a book instead”, one assumes it’ll be something on the level of Martine McCutcheon’s debut novel, say, or perhaps a choice selection from the Early Reader range. Also not a good look: singing as though gargling mouthwash, somehow inventing the concept of Ronson-lite production. Yes, liter than Mark Ronson. Nash pushes boundaries, but in the wrong direction.

Katherine St Asaph: It’d be nice if there were fewer songs about bimbos and more about bimbo-chasers, but when the former are this damn cheery, I don’t think I care. The snarkiest lines are the ones that don’t seem it — Kate says she’s going to read a book because that’s what Her Shadiness never does; she says she can hang out alone because unlike her, she’s above caring about relationships (even though she’s not really, of course). I don’t love this entirely — the clipped-short swear is exponentially less cute than Kate thinks it is, and I’d like the lady/shady rhyme forever excised from the language — but I like it well enough.

Matt Cibula: Weird how she says that the girl ain’t worthwhile cause there’s nothing there, because I don’t think there’s a lot here either. But the wishy-washy grade reflects my ambivalence, because I love the parts that this doesn’t end up being more than the sum of.

Additional Scores

Doug Robertson: [2]
Martin Skidmore: [2]
Alfred Soto: [5]

4 Responses to “Kate Nash – Do Wah Doo”

  1. Lex gon’ give it to ya.

  2. You know what? A couple of years on, I don’t hate “Foundations”. It’s light years better than this (though “they. are. much. fitter.” might be worse than “that. girl’s. shady” as a ten second stretch).

  3. An utterly odious Lily Allen clone but she’s hawt to the tenth power. Wish Ryanair maintained such an impressive passenger to stewardess ratio tho.

  4. just for the sake of bookkeeping: the “bitch” is cut off because you guys are listening to a radio single, for radio. on the album it’s cut off the first time but appears the second.

    song’s only okay though.