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Amanda Blank - I Love You

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Artist: Amanda Blank

Album: I Love You

Label: Downtown

Review date: Aug. 19, 2009

Amanda Blank’s I Love You comes hot on the heels of her cameo on the Major Lazer record, on which she spits XXX rhymes in an inexplicable British accent but nicely balances out the otherwise macho-nistic track “What U Like.” She brings raunch in similar proportions to her own work, and, just like the Major Lazer outing, finds half a dozen words that rhyme with “sweater” (as in “show you what I got in my sweater”). Like a decent number of female MC’s before her, she makes a few shouts out to the ladies, and alternately looks for opportunities to both hit it and leave it alone.

It’s a bit of a variety show, with a love for 1980s synth-wave and Italo disco. It’s not immediately apparent whether these are all Blank’s tastes, or those of her cohorts Switch (who has a production credit on nearly every track), Diplo or Spank Rock. On the standout “I Might Like You Better,” she quotes and samples Romeo Void’s ‘80s hit “Never Say Never.” Things don’t go so well when she reinterprets LL Cool J’s icky radio ballad “I Need Love” as a lady protagonist who missed out on love cuz she was too fly. These rhymes aren’t going to capture anyone more sophisticated than a high school chav.

On other tracks, Blank displays formidable MC skills with a rattling precision that suggests, if nothing else, a lot of practice. This is mostly “fun” music and makes no pretension as to being any more. The sly “Something Bigger, Something Better” has the Switch/Mad Decent stamp all over it, from an ominous chime, clicking pumps of a shot gun, and Jets-vs.-Sharks finger snaps. The warped crescendo that closes I Love You is “Leaving You Behind,” an odd hybrid that is part ballad, part kiss-off, and, for better or worse, the most authentic of Blank’s many voices.

By Andy Freivogel

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