Although it came out several months ago, something about Nina Nesbitt’s Peroxide really made me want to review it. It made sense to put up a post about the deluxe version of the album, purely because if you only listen to the original version, there’s a lot you’re missing out on.
I hate to use the word “sassy”, but somehow that’s the sophisticated, independent and slightly vindictive attitude that comes across in her music, rather notably in opening track, Peroxide. Obviously, this is where the album title has been taken from, but I’m not sure as the motivation behind that specific chemical. Instead of the typical whiny female pop singer, the lines “tell your girlfriend you used to be my boyfriend, how would she like that?” hands over a much more empowered voice. This continues into single Stay Out which brought her music recognition. This track is a perfect example of what occurs throughout the record, lyrically; strong throughout, a catchy chorus, then let down by a rather disappointing middle eight. Despite carrying a strong moral voice for the majority of Two Worlds Away, (“it’s alright feeling like you’ve nothing left in you to prove, ’cause you’re always two worlds away”), this falls victim to the same problem and the lines “friend ends in end, and love is almost lose” let the whole thing down. It’s like she didn’t know what to fill the music with, so Googled for modern clichés.
Nina’s self-assertion is highlighted in tracks such as Tough Luck, The Outcome and Some You Win. It’s impossible to not love her almost flippant, “don’t care” attitude to people who treated her undeservingly, and this independent, self-reliant outlook seems very popular recently. And combined with infectious tunes, they would make perfect emancipating break-up songs, either live or through a stereo. My personal favourite of these comes from the deluxe edition of the album; Some You Win. In the lyrics of this, she advocates the attitude of accepting how life turns out, with lines such as “I don’t need you to be my blanket, someone else could keep me warm”, getting impossibly stuck in your head, and “I’ve got my friends and I’ll be fine, fine is what you’ll get parking on my line” leaving you questioning how well they fit together.
Some of the tracks feel rather disappointing on the record; Brit Summer being a key one. In a way, it’s rather good if you don’t pay much attention to the poor lyrics, and it really feels like it was only deigned to be performed live. The same can be said for Bright Blue Eyes, and though some might argue that the simple lyrics and understated guitar give it a sincere tone, I felt it was just lacking anything. However, she surprisingly manages to add something to Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop, and I don’t think it’s indisputable that she does the track justice, which is rather an achievement. Peroxide also features a fair collection of well executed slower tracks, such as Align and The Hardest Part, so if you are one for being soppy and welling up a bit when you’re feeling down instead of picking yourself back up, they’ll do the trick. Personal favourite of these tracks is Hold You, featuring Kodaline. This really slows the album down and it almost feels like Nina is bearing her soul; I say almost as something about the annunciation of “you” (rather like “ya”) slightly deducts from the sombre mood. That said, the two voices combine excellently, creating another brilliant track.
Overall, the record features a fair mix of good, upbeat songs (more than just the singles), with a couple of sincere, calmer tracks. A must-listen for female pop-acoustic fans (if you can manage a few cheap clichés!)