Thursday, August 04, 2011

Little Jackie - Made For TV

It seems each time we dissect a new effort from New York songstrel and general bastion of brilliance Imani Coppola, we’re berating the criminal underperformance of her previous work. So, in keeping with tradition, 2008’s first outing from Little Jackie – Coppola’s exceptional pairing with entrancing production alchemist Adam Pallin – sold a fraction of fuck-all. Seriously, do you people not have ears?

But, resilient as ever, Little Jackie follow up the barbed magnificence of The Stoop with the independently-released Made For TV. And while its sudden appearance may be a surprise, the towering quality within is most definitely not.

The rhythmic, frantic horns of Take Back The World sets the tone instantly, an album of bouncy brass covering subjects no-one else could even dare to pull off: from the acceptance of cougar status on 21st B-Day Party to the joys of a marriage of convenience on The Pact, it’s social commentary with an entirely individual voice.

The Bond-theme slink of 31 Flavors takes proceedings from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Monaco on a sonic level, yet lyrically, it’s unashamedly mischievous and radiantly human. Such impudence is something explored further on Cockblock: “I made a promise to my pussy that next time I’d wait / I’ll just sit home and masturbate.” A touch of the Lil Kims on paper, perhaps, but the breezy, carefree delivery of Coppola turns it into a comical, congenial reflection.

In fact, throughout Made For TV, Coppola’s matchless brand of screwball genius shows no signs of dissolving, although once again, it’s balanced skilfully by the absorbing, authentic beats of Pallin. The zany substance of solo albums Chupacabra or The Black & White Album prove Coppola’s wondrous waywardness knows no limits, but when tethered firmly to NYC by Pallin’s classic compositions, the results, frankly, are pure genius.

Not that this is news to us. The Stoop demonstrated an unparalleled flair, and while its numbers may have been few in terms of sales, those lucky enough to encounter it know of its positives all too well. And Made For TV forms the perfect follow-up; it carries all the same components, but bedecks proceedings with a more lush, even slightly more settled atmosphere. Whether it’ll turn heads on any large scale is sadly a question for the insular, back-slapping world of radio, but decades from now, Made For TV has the potential to be unearthed as an early 21st Century classic. And should this very blog still exist somewhere in ghost form, we’d like to take this opportunity to smugly say we told you so.


Dave.E said...

At last someone who recognises the genius of 'The Stoop'.. can't believe how underated Imani is.

Phil C said...

Shall we form a fan club of three?

The Stoop was unadulterated amazingness, and Made for TV comes mighty close to matching it.

Favourite track has to be The Pact, but I'm really glad it has retained the same feeling of "It's 40 degrees in NYC. Let's set off some fire hydrants and have a dance under them."

Know what I mean?

Anonymous said...

I only discovered Made4TV was released. Listening now and it is amazing, can tell it is instantly gratifying like The Stoop, and will have equal rewards over years. Should I quit my job and be their publicist. Why isn't this huge? Damn.

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