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Kidda – Hotel Radio

Kidda, Hotel Radio

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

HAVING conquered the dance scene with his last album Going Up Kidda now returns with something more pop and radio-friendly – and succeeds in putting a big sloppy grin on your face.

Hotel Radio is filled mostly with three minute pop anthems as well as the odd Daft Punk influenced dance-floor filler. It’s a good-time record that doesn’t let up on keeping you uplifted.

Admittedly, this occasionally lends it a disposable vibe and feels a couple of months too late in terms of capturing that summer energy. But sometimes you’ve just got to kick back and have fun.

For Hotel Radio, Kidda has enlisted a broad sweep of singers ranging from fellow tunesmith Lee Baker, Barry Dobbin (Clor), Jen Dalby (Gloria Cycles) and Laura Vane (as heard on The Streets’ OMG single).

The result works to lend the album an eclectic feel, while the influences Kidda draws on musically range from Motown to gospel to Fatboy Slim and beyond.
Album opener Speak in Numbers sets the scene well, with ‘ba ba bop ba’ harmonies mixing with slick beats and a catchy hook. It contains a loopy energy that’s utterly infectious.

Don’t Give Up The Sunshine unfolds amid a gospel-tinged chorus group before dropping in a kick-ass guitar riff and some rapped vocals. It’s more fun.

But if they’re good, then The Whistler is great. Built around an insanely catchy (and care-free) whistle, it then drops a lush set of vocals, a breezy back-beat and some subtle instrumental arrangements to drop a fantastically feel-good anthem. Trust us, it’s irresistible.

It’s also that rare moment of individuality that stands head and shoulders above a lot of the other content.

That said, the hip-hop-meets-pop energy of Hangin’ Around is good and maintains the momentum.

Wanna Be Loved, however, feels like one of those irritating ‘80s pop anthems (or early ‘90s) that you just don’t want in your head. It’s one of the rare duds. Likewise, the Daft Punk leaning electronic house and vocoder laced vocals of Get Close.

Don’t Wanna Fall In Love, meanwhile, is pure dance cheese and evidence of the album at its most disposable.

But just when you fear the worst and a tonal shift into the utterly forgettable, Kidda returns with the empowering Down 4 U, an insanely catchy offering that arguably drops one of the most sing-along choruses on the LP.

He follows that up with the Motown/Jackson 5 influenced Together Again, which revels in its positivity, and rounds the album off with Take Care of Yourself, a hypnotic and vaguely psychedelic finale that re-affirms your faith in things (as well as adding some more gospel).

All in all, then, it’s a mighty fine collection of pop songs that’s tailor-made to bring some sunshine vibes to these autumnal months.

Download picks: The Whistler, Don’t Give Up The Sunshine, Down 4 U, Together Again, Take Care of Yourself

Track listing:

  1. Speak in Numbers
  2. Don’t Give Up The Sunshine
  3. The Whistler
  4. Hangin’ Around
  5. Wanna Be Loved
  6. Get Close
  7. Don’t Wanna Fall in Love
  8. Down 4 U
  9. Together Again
  10. Take Care of Yourself