NICOLETTE Let No-One Live Rent Free In Your Head (Talkin Loud)

Another Massive Attack alumnus, "Let No-One Live Rent Free In Your Head" is technically Nicolette’s second album, but her first to actually be released. (Her debut, recorded with Shut Up And Dance at the beginning of the decade, fell foul of the then-fashionable sample litigation frenzy brigade.) Like Tricky, she’s also branched out from her, admittedly illustrious, roots with the Massive, this album featuring appearances from Goldie’s mate Dego, Plaid (formerly two-thirds of The Black Dog), Felix and Alec Empire. As is becoming increasingly common from this stable. "Let No-One Live Rent Free In Your Head" is a work of woozy wonder; there’s the seasickness-inducing vocal cadences of the single "We Never Know" and its crunching hardcore b-side "Nightmare", the rattly jungleathon of "Song For Europe", two versions of the utopian dreamstate anthem "No Government" (one being a Plaid remix that samples Tom Waits’ "Shore Leave"!) and more folk-dance interaction, as pioneered by Everything But The Girl, in the form of a cover of "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?"! "Let No-One Live Rent Free In Your Head" is an addictive sensory headspin that does for dance music what The Boo Radleys do for late-60s psychedelia - investigate!


Bit of an oddity this: Nicolette is the chanteuse who enlivened a few songs on the second Massive Attack long player before going on to make the rather fine "Let No One Live Rent Free In Your Head" album with the assistance of luminaries including Plaid and Alec Empire. From the title you might assume that "DJ Kicks" would be some kind of mix album, but the eight tracks spread over four sides of weighty 45 rpm vinyl remain resolutely unmixed, so what we effectively have is a compilation. There’s two of Nicolette’s own songs, presumably from her was-it-released-or-wasn’t-it-nobody-seems-to-know-for-sure debut album made with Shut Up And Dance, two from SUAD themselves, an early Roni Size contribution, a DJ Krust track, one from The Mike Flowers Pops (!) vs Slang and, finally, a track by the too-obscure-for-me Ohm Square. Most of this assemblage turns out to be rattly drum ‘n’ bass of a not exactly life-enhancing nature, with the Nicolette tracks the pick of the bunch for me because of their possible rarity and the fact that they have vocals. Otherwise, "DJ Kicks" seems a bit pointless.