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Bastardo by Charlotte Hatherley

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Reviewed on 16th February 2005.



By Charlotte Hatherley

Second single to be released from Charlotte Hatherley's critically acclaimed debut album 'Grey Will Fade', 'Bastardo', is a poppy, sun-kissed, fun-packed offering. Behind the cute pleasantries of sound, however, lies the rather angry story of a one night stand gone wrong, when the Mexican 'bastardo' runs off in the middle of the night, with Hatherley's precious Gibson SG guitar in tow. Hmm. It maintains the feel-good, summery vibe of Hatherley's previous single yet is, thankfully, far less irritating. Though still remaining a little too sickly for me, its simple, uncomplicated manner and sweet vocals are actually quite endearing. Clearly much of her success is on the back of her presence in Ash and the poppy style and the tongue-in-cheek charm is very much reminiscent of early Ash classics. Yet stepping out of the shadows of Tim Wheeler here, she does prove with this single that she is far from incapable of standing on her own two feet.

B-side '3 Minutes' is much less poppy. Hatherley's vocals are less sickly sweet and it seems a lot less, well, girly, I suppose. Showing her to be capable of appearing as something other than the girl next door it gives her much more credibility than the A-side of the single. 'I Am A Kamera' is even better, taking Hatherley one step further away from the frivolous, playful nature of 'Bastardo' and consequently making me wish that she had chosen this as the single release. The guitars are much better, particularly at the beginning when everything builds up in a great crescendo leading to a riff which is so far from the quirky guitars used on the first track it is hard to believe they are played by the same artist. Same goes for the vocals; they seem to have been taken down an octave and again, sound much better for it. Everything is that little bit grittier-guitars, vocals, drums and whilst I wouldn't necessarily recommend that you buy this single for 'Bastardo' I would definitely say that this track is more than worth a listen.



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