Charlotte Hatherley - I Want You To Know

Holly Cruise 26/02/2007

Rating: 4/5

If Charlotte Hatherley ever developed stage fright and decided to vanish from the limelight then her songs could easily find a place on the next Girls Aloud album. Blasphemy? Hardly, if we are being honest then the only thing about Charlotte's new single is the way it has reached us, via her own record label, set up to give her some more freedom to find herself after the promising but not fully cooked collection of songs from her debut album. What we have here is pop, pure, polished and catchy. There's no awkwardness or sharp edges to scare off the mainstream local radio listener. On first hearing this is what is both obvious and the problem, it sounds a little too safe. Given a few more listens and it opens up, its sweet insides exposed and lovely. Its unashamedly melodic and harmonious, a swarm of Charlottes all cooing in and out of the mix. It's the sort of song, which is so obvious that you wonder why no one else thought of it. And then you realise that its sheer simplicity is almost impossible to do right for most mere mortals, and indeed most mere indie bands. It is simplicity with character, apart from the vocals there is some pleasingly heavy percussion and that shimmering guitar playing, a little less unworldly compared to previous single 'Behave', but no worse for it. Oh, and there's handclaps. Proper handclaps of the sort which only those without a soul wouldn't love.

The B-sides are more laid back and reflective affairs, with a little touch of Lush about them. That's Lush as in the now sadly forgotten 1990s indie band that specialised in floaty melodies, not the makers of delicious soaps. Although there's your token review metaphor - Charlotte Hatherley is the Lush soap of the music world, you might think its all a pile of girly indulgence but once you've been there you won't be too keen to go back to the mass produced obvious soap/indie which is found everywhere else. Sweet.

Released: 26/02/07