When Shingai (a sort of Grace Jones for the modern age, a diva who can pull off skyscraper/bonsai-style Patti Labelle hair, Dynasty shoulderpads, and metallic gold diaper-style hotpants with a panache that would impress even the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O) debuted in 2007 on the Noisettes' What's the Time Mr. Wolf?, her band's sound was raw, rough, and ready, and she screamed as often as she sang. It was good stuff, and it sounded something like this:
But now, just as Karen O's has toned down her screechiness on the latest YYYs album, It's Blitz!, Shingai has adopted a mellower, Supremes-like vocal style on the Noisettes new disc, Wild Young Hearts, and she is sounding supreme indeed.
Her voice is unexpectedly rich and lovely, with honeyed tones completely absent from her band's earlier work. And while her throwback vocals bring to mind the Britsoul revival currently being spearheaded by the likes of Amy Winehouse, Adele, Duffy, Estelle, and various Mark Ronson consorts, she still sounds wholly original on the album's irresistibly Motownish first single, "Never Forget You." It is a rather unforgettable sound:
So while the Noisettes are a little less noisy now, their buzz is sure to grow louder and louder, thanks to their stellar sophomore album.
- Patti Labelle