Jessy Lanza: Oh No review – wonky pop, peak danceability


When Canada’s Jessy Lanza debuted with 2013’s Pull My Hair Back, she was pigeonholed as one of the “future R&B” artists mixing up 90s sounds with new electronics. Understandably, she and co-producer/partner Jeremy Greenspan have made a run for it on second album Oh No and a wider – and weirder – range of influences, from Yellow Magic Orchestra and J-pop to Chicago footwork and New Orleans bounce, shine through their wonky pop prism. Lanza’s smoky sensuality is still there on slow jams such as Begins, Could Be You and I Talk BB, which recalls one of Prince’s syrupiest piano moments. But much of it is, brilliantly, like something from a dusty Dance Mania tape, recognisable only by Lanza’s distinct, vapour-light voice. At times, the production can be overly fussy (see Going Somewhere), but tracks such as VV Violence (squelchy electro-funk by way of girlish electroclash) and Never Enough (a nod to smooth house dude Morgan Geist) demonstrate their ability to team that experimentalism with peak-time danceability. There could be a bona fide pop star in Jessy Lanza yet.


Kate Hutchinson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Kate Tempest: Let Them Eat Chaos review – pop, poetry and politics collide
Performance poetry might still be a niche concern, but Kate Tempest now gets to do hers on primetime TV – and deservedly so

Alexis Petridis

06, Oct, 2016 @2:00 PM

Leona Lewis: Glassheart – review
Leona Lewis has found the sweet spot where her powerhouse voice blends well with elements of house and dubstep, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

11, Oct, 2012 @9:30 PM

No Doubt: Push and Shove – review
No Doubt's 11-year hiatus has been little noted, but their return album is cause for a small celebration, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

27, Sep, 2012 @9:15 PM

Article image
Jessy Lanza: Pull My Hair Back – review
Jessy Lanza's intriguing debut offers strangely fascinating sounds and beautifully crafted songs at once, writes Michael Hann

Michael Hann

05, Sep, 2013 @9:30 PM

Article image
Fatima Al Qadiri: Asiatisch review – pan-pipe driven sino-grime
This dubstep exploration of orientalism reads like a music theorist's doctoral thesis – but there's good music here, writes Lanre Bakare

Lanre Bakare

15, May, 2014 @9:15 PM

Article image
Katy B on her new album, raving and sticking to her pirate radio roots
The Mercury-nominated On a Mission turned Katy B in to a dubstep star. But to record her followup album, she has gone back to former pirate radio station Rinse FM where she first made her name singing hooks on grime tracks, she tells Sam Wolfson

Sam Wolfson

11, Jul, 2013 @6:00 PM

Article image
Skrillex: ‘I stopped doing interviews because of the Guardian’
The brostep pioneer has taken his aggressive brand of electronica into the pop market this year, collaborating with Justin Bieber, and he’s even happy to admit a fondness for Hanson

Peter Robinson

10, Dec, 2015 @6:41 PM

Breton: Other Peoples' Problems – review
Breton aren't a band, they're a multimedia arts collective spawned by squat culture – and they certainly sound like it, writes Michael Hann

Michael Hann

22, Mar, 2012 @10:00 PM

Modestep: Evolution Theory – review
Even brosteppers need to turn down the wub-wubbing now and then, which is when Modestep get a bit more nuanced, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

31, Jan, 2013 @8:15 PM

Article image
Washed Out: Mister Mellow review – plunderphonic chillwave gems

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

30, Jun, 2017 @6:30 AM