Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Katy B ft. Ms Dynamite – Lights On

This, of course, has already made its mark on the UK charts…


John Seroff: Last year’s Ms. Jukebox returns as second banana in a legitimate first string club banger. “Lights On” is well-constructed, jaunty, creative and durable; it comes with everything you need on the dance floor. Even if it never quite finds the intangibles necessary to become indispensible, it’s still awfully enjoyable.

Edward Okulicz: Ms Dynamite continues sounding like the vibrant star she’s sounded like pretty much continuously since her return, and Katy B is hitting emotional buttons I didn’t know I even had. And the music does not pound — it probes the senses and pleasure centres.

Katherine St Asaph: Disappointing! I had high expectations for Katy B’s solo album after last year’s excellent singles, but Katy’s been saddled with a hook nowhere near good enough to merit this many repetitions, a beat she trips over and a guest artist who totally upstages her. With Benga et al she sounded sinuous, charged with danger; here, she can’t even convince me that there was ever dancing or darkness or anything to care about. Once you turn the lights on, nothing looks quite the same.

Anthony Easton: Extra points for the honesty of presentation, but not nearly as performative as I was hoping for.

Pete Baran: Her current obsession with reconstructing the music of a bygone era has an almost curatorial air to it, as if Noel Gallagher was picking over the bones of the Nightcrawlers and The Source. But it is nice to hear the monolithic synth riffs battering out a melody. It’s a pity that the rest of the track does not want to go anywhere, even when current UK MVP Ms Dynamite jumps on.

Alex Macpherson: It’s ironic and fairly hilarious that Katy B’s been tagged as the “voice of dubstep”, given that “Katy on a Mission” was a one-off in a discography weighted far more towards UK funky and R&B. Now that the Trojan horse has served its purpose, she’s reverted to her instincts — and the producer with whom she’d enjoyed the most artistic rapport pre-“Mission”, Rinse FM boss Geeneus. “Lights On” doesn’t possess the anthemic immediacy of her breakthrough hit, but what it loses there it gains right back with likeability, a better beat and the return of Ms Dynamite to the top 5 (on whose behalf, a massive “in your FACE” to everyone who’s ever made a joke about the Mercury curse at her expense).

Alfred Soto: The chorus keeps it moving, but neither the title star nor the special guest convince me they’ve got the lights on.

Jonathan Bogart: Katy B sings fine, Ms Dynamite raps (or is it toasts?) well, but none of it sticks to the ribs or insists to be heard again. Maybe it’s because the music behind them is so generic; maybe it’s because I’m totally ignorant about UK dance music; maybe it’s that every time I see the title I hear Beyoncé snapping “turn the lights on,” and I’m harboring an irrational grudge against the song for not being “Sweet Dreams.”

Tom Ewing: Katy B is making a habit of these show-and-tell songs about clubbing and I’m not sure the concept has much more to offer: Ms Dynamite’s role here, keeping the energy levels up once you’ve got the basic idea, is invaluable. “Lights On” doesn’t have the realtime urgency — or enormous synth hooks — of “Katy on a Mission”, but it’s still just on the right side of “ooh, I know that feeling”. I anticipate follow-up “Cloakroom Ticket” with interest.

Martin Skidmore: It all works together beautifully, even if I don’t really understand the point of the main lyric — don’t most people dance with the lights on?

2 Responses to “Katy B ft. Ms Dynamite – Lights On”

  1. Everyone does except Bruce Springsteen, Martin.

  2. on the off chance that Martin’s not joking: the reference is to the dark of the club and that when they bring the lights on at the end of the night, you refuse to leave cuz you’re having a good time