A bold step forwards from her lauded debut...

'Kids' is everything you want from a sophomore album: the strengths of the debut enhanced, the weaknesses eliminated. Since her 2017 debut 'Off the Radar' Noga Erez' sound, crafted with her life and creative partner Ori Rousso, has become sharper, determined, audacious. She has clearly found her style; musically and visually.

'Kids' is an album of our times. It is political, the lyrics are burdened, the beats are heavy. Even under catchy electro pop melodies smoulder everyday pessimism and sobriety. This is simply where we are at; politics permeate our everyday lives, even more so in Erez' native Israel. In her songs she explores themes of tension, anxiety, mortality, ambition and personal relationships under the overarching theme of the relationships between the generations, between parent and child. Throughout the album we hear snippets of her mother.

Restless and fast-paced, 'Kids' nurtures critical reflection without compromising humour and a good time. The songs are energetic and energising, a sonic punch right in your face. The style lives on Noga Erez' smart and bold lyrics that she performs with her versatile speak-singing and a thrilling swagger. 'You So Done' comes with a pounding tuba-like pulse and outbursts of jarring synths. The title track 'Kids' featuring rapper Blimes kicks in with dark hip hop bass addressing the conflict in the Middle East and 'Story' is a snappy reflection on her relationship with Rousso. The second half of 'Knockout' provides an exquisite musical knockout before an unexpected funky playfulness comes in the shape of 'NO News On TV'.

The final track 'Switch Me Off' has a jazzy, grand ballad vibe. Erez-style, accentuated with distorted synth. Her best performance is by far 'End Of The Road', rapping smart-as-hell lyrics over cool clapping beats that break up for soaring stadium anthem synths. Just cool.

8/10

Words: Marthe Lisson

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