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Kate Nash 

Made of Bricks (Fiction/Geffen)

Like Lily Allen — last year's cutie import, who sings about blowjobs in a thick British accent — Kate Nash airs her dirty laundry for all to hear. "You'll call me a bitch, and everyone we're with will be embarrassed, and I won't give a shit," she sings in "Foundations," her breakthrough U.K. single and a key track on her debut album, Made of Bricks. Nash can be a bit precious at times (the simple piano plunks expose the songs' sometimes flimsy skeletal frames), but she has a way with hooks. Where Allen pretty much kept Alright, Still in one place musically, Nash stuffs Made of Bricks with enough bouncy rhythms and stylistic shifts (is that pedal steel in "Birds"?) that you probably won't even notice she's singing tuneful put-downs like "Why you being a dickhead for? Stop being a dickhead."

Speaking of CD Review

More by Michael Gallucci

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