Boot it to the curb
British electro-popper Little Boots’ full-length U.S. debut, Hands, falls flat, but it’s not for lack of trying. On paper, so much about it seems promising: There’s a collaboration with Lady Gaga producer RedOne (“Remedy”); a duet with Human League vocalist Philip Oakey (“Symmetry”), a sly nod to Boots’ obvious New Wave influences; even a clever song inspired by a Sylvia Plath poem (“Mathematics”), for the literary types. Alas, the best laid plans of musicians and producers can still add up to a boring album.
Little Boots’ problem may be that there’s little left to add to her genre: The synth-pop revival has nearly exhausted itself, and Hands ends up sounding like a B-sides collection cherry-picked from the catalogs of Kylie Minogue and Girls Aloud. Technically, the album was made in a bygone decade—most of the work was done in 2008—and it’s a sad sign of the times that it already feels so dated.