HK119 - Fast, Cheap & Out of Control
Wed 29th Oct, 2008 Music Reviewsin
Finnish born writer, singer, producer, visual arts graduate and – according to Bjork – “the perfect blond women” Heidi Kilpelainen presents her second album, Fast Cheap and Out of Control. Under the product code HK119 and with the assistance of producers Dean Honer and Jarrod Gosling (I Monster/All Seeing I and Simon Duffy), Kilpelainen aims to push modernism in new directions.
I don’t feel like this album pushes as many boundaries as it claims. She attacks the contradiction and disaffection that is society, rather bluntly truth be told, and while at some points I enjoy it, at others times it seemed unnecessary. The opener Mind, for example, is fantastic and reminiscent of many tracks in Ladytron’s Velocifero album. The line; “Today I’ll start another life, I will control my mind…”, drives me a little crazy. I love it, but how often have you convinced yourself that ‘today’ you can change you reactions and your routine, but then failed miserably? The music builds wonderfully from a concerning dark drum beat, with those awkward electronic tweaks that should frustrate but don’t, into a lovingly soft and happy melody. As catchy as this track is, I only learnt to appreciate it after the third listen.
What happened at track two is a mystery. We all love a bit of smooth jazz, but not as much as is included here. It’s slow and caught between two heavy duty pop songs. This is the first ‘weak link’ in the album. Having said that, C’est La Vie rocks, or more correctly electro-pops! Bring on the dirty robotic beats. Apparently inspired by the likes of Kraftwork and David Bowie, HK119 delivers an interesting union of ideas, but the real space travel doesn’t occur until later on. Clone, not surprisingly, explores the topic of cloning; something most of the world seems to have forgotten about. The track features a familiar mixture of singing, talking and squealing, but this – and the spooky interlude – leave nothing to get excited about.
Her accent is infectious, especially on Liberty. It’s a very punchy song and another one that took me a while to enjoy. Kilpelainen seems to feel trapped in the rules of society, perhaps she should observe the people of America and see what freedom has done for them lately? I understand that some things will never be the same, but change is beautiful too. Finally, here comes David Bowie in Space Pt 1.There really is nothing more I can add to that… It really is ‘Space Oddity’ gone female, acoustic guitar and all. Most of the tracks between Space Pt 1 and Space Part 2, besides Super Bug, are easily forgotten. It is not that they are all that bad, it’s just that most of the intrigue lies in the earlier part of the album.
‘No end’ is the final line to the final song Night. A simple song but a pleasant, albeit creepy, end to the album. I don’t recommend tucking yourself into bed with this track.