Friday, August 27th, 2021

Katy B – Under My Skin

Finding it easy to resume…


Ian Mathers: Few singers can make rueful heartbreak sound this dreamy.

Crystal Leww: Katy B has always made music for the girls who go to the club on the weekend but also spend plenty of time crying in their bedroom, too. “Under My Skin” is produced by P2J, frequent collaborator of Wizkid and Burna Boy. It makes sense that the girl who took so much from the UK club underground (dubstep wobbles, UK garage, UK funky, and breakbeats) onto a pop album would continue to be pushing new and underappreciated (yes, still — I don’t care there was literally a collab with Beyoncé) club sounds forward. “Under My Skin” sounds like what happens when the club lights come on Sunday morning, after the cool bus ride home, watching the sun rise from the rooftop, a quiet moment of desperately sad reflection on a set of memories that feel like a different lifetime ago. 

Tobi Tella: The problem with taking a long break is that a sound you might’ve helped popularized has become overdone. I don’t hate the tropical house beat, and Katy’s a great vocalist, but there’s no shaking the feeling this is the sound of an also-ran. The lyrics don’t help, basically going down the kiss-off checklist: establish sadness, recall ~fond~ memories, explain why his love was toxic, profit! It’s the perfectly pleasant sound of being stuck in the past.

Alfred Soto: Few contemporary performers get me as excited as Katy B, whose debut a decade ago chronicled the nightlife of a woman hanging out in too many clubs and coming home too late (or early) but doing it because she loved the lights, the drinks, the conversations with her friend Olivia. She thankfully didn’t go in a balladeering direction after 2014’s “Crying For No Reason.” Her first track in almost five years thumps along with a semi-confident gait but doesn’t move fast enough to redeem the boring titular metaphor. 

Nortey Dowuona: The swallow synths spinning around Katy B’s soft voice sound good even smushed under the tilting bass ones, but altogether it just sounds like a Not3s throwaway with weaker drums that was passed on by that Love Island guy. And Katy’s voice, as beautiful as it is, is too anonymous to buoy it at all.

Iain Mew: Katy’s best songs have tended to bring together groove and tight songwriting, in a deceptively simple kind of way. This one is much looser on both fronts, which gives it an unpredictable energy but makes it a bit too diffuse to do so much with it. 

Mark Sinker: Lianas of rumination in a crisp, gentle frame of clicks, plinks and glunks, alive and wounded and supple, also controlled, self-possessed and confident in karmic reward, for the one who done her wrong. Focused, low-key, on-point, Katy B’s mission is the very opposite of hurried, that’s for sure.

Reader average: [7.5] (2 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

2 Responses to “Katy B – Under My Skin”

  1. shoot, missed blurbing this but it’s at least a [7]; that undulating chorus melody is just perfect. also Ian OTM

  2. same