Katy B hasn’t released a proper album since 2011’s excellent dubstep-pop salvo On a Mission, but her output since then has been well-rounded enough to raise hopes for an even better follow-up — one without such subgenre prefixes. With newly released “Crying for No Reason,” the big-voiced U.K. singer is ready for her Girls end-credits close-up.
Moving from a slo-mo, beats-less intro to synth-flecked four-on-the-floor stomp and nailing bittersweet emotional drama all the while, it’s Katy B’s answer to Robyn dancefloor heartstring-tuggers like “Dancing on My Own” or “With Every Heartbeat.” And if dumb dubstep bros dismissed her debut as girls’ stuff, she throws them the finest bird here, seizing on a lyrical hook you might otherwise find in kitchensink ballads and turning it, through her characteristically commanding performance, into a monumental anthem.
Coming after her club thumper “5 AM,” its reckless B-side “I Like You,” and unpluggable drag-racer “What Love Is Made Of” — plus last year’s R&B-nodding, Jessie Ware-enriched Danger EP — the song puts Katy real-name Brien on something of a Disclosure-like streak. Which is a reason for fans of ass-kicking British pop to, well, never mind.
Katy B’s next album, titled Little Red, is due out in February 2014.