Review: Kate Nash – Yesterday Was Forever

Five years since the release of her last album ‘Girl Talk,’ Kate Nash produces a new album, Cian Montague reviews. 

“I’m not like the other girls/Don’t get me started,” sings Kate Nash confidently on the opening track of her first album in five years. Unfortunately, in truth, there is little remarkable about her latest effort.

There are strong moments. ‘Life in Pink’ has a killer pop chorus, but this is detracted from other parts where, in shooting for raucous, Nash veers into tuneless. Nash letting loose on the chorus to ‘California Poppies’ is more effective, even thrilling. Sneer if you want, but ‘To the Music I Belong,’ is a pretty piano-led reflection on the comfort music can provide in loneliness. ‘Drink About You’ is the best song on the record: a blast of racing guitars and pop-punk where Nash lets loose and sounds like she’s having fun.

Elsewhere it’s less positive. Part of Nash’s charm has always been in the lyrical details, the minutiae other songwriters ignored that allowed her to create vivid, relatable imagery on early successes like ‘Foundations.’ That’s here, too: we have Chinese takeaways, reading emails, and bad doses of PMS. Also to be taken into account is Nash’s claim that Yesterday Was Forever is “an excerpt from a teenage diary.”

However, both of these features are often used as a screen for just how sleepy Nash’s lyricism is. “I wanna watch Buffy/In my room on the TV/And you know I’ll be smiling/When we spoon and you kiss me,” she sings on ‘Take Away,’ and on ‘Body Heat’: “You make my dopamine/Go fucking so crazy.” ‘Musical Theatre’ features a difficult minute and a half of quasi-rap.

All of this brings us to the most truly bizarre inclusion on this record, a synthpop-lite track that sounds like it was made in fifteen minutes, titled ‘Karaoke Kiss.’ This is a profoundly uninteresting take on the late-night hook-up song that actually opens with “Bought you a drink and we chatted by the bar.” The chorus goes: “Kiss me in the karaoke bar/I need something, I feel so dark.”

Her writing is comical really – to all appearances, it’s straight-faced – and Nash’s serious performance of manifestly daft lines, unfortunately calls to mind the hook-up parody song, ‘Jizz in My Pants.’ With the cheesy sonics and Nash’s monotone trying-to-be-cool vocals on the verses, it’s hard to ignore the similarities to the Lonely Island and pop parody, once you’ve considered it. It’s really not a good look.

In a nutshell: You could cherry-pick some highlights, but for the most part this is a collection of uninspired, lyrically lacking pop songs.