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Wild Young Hearts

35 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 22, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2009 sophomore album from the British trio. Wild Young Hearts is a set of sleek Pop songs steeped in Soul, dizzy on Disco and harking back to the days of Blues and Jazz greats. From the galloping Funk grooves of first single 'Don't Upset The Rhythm', to the joyous, jazzy title track, the stomping Electro-Rock of 'Saturday Night', the glorious '60s-tinged Soul of 'Never Forget You' and the sultry, shimmering pop of '24 Hours', in Wild Young Hearts, Noisettes have made what is set to be one of 2009's most adventurous albums.

About the Artist

With Noisettes, it's always best to expect the unexpected. Two years on from a debut album awash with punk spirit and scorching blues-rock, the London trio return with Wild Young Hearts, a set of sleek pop songs steeped in soul, dizzy on disco and harking back to the days of blues and jazz greats.

From the stomping electro-rock of Saturday Night and galloping funk grooves of forthcoming, first single Don't Upset The Rhythm, to the joyous, jazzy title track, the glorious `60s-tinged soul of Never Forget You and the sultry, shimmering pop of 24 Hours, in Wild Young Hearts, Noisettes have made what is set to be one of 2009's most adventurous albums.

Never fond of a formula, the trio always intended on a radical musical detour from their acclaimed debut, What's The Time Mr Wolf?, an album that spawned five singles and took them on tour for over a year, sharing arena stages with Muse and criss-crossing the States with TV On The Radio and Bloc Party.

"Some bands stick with the same style forever," says singer Shingai Shoniwa, whose versatile vocals have seen her compared to everyone from Deborah Harry and Kate Bush to Billie Holiday and Diana Ross. "They get together because they share identical musical tastes, then never do anything different. We're a gang, but we're also three divas with different record collections who constantly introduce each other to new sounds, whether it's African music, jazz, Van Morrison or Black Sabbath. For us, making music means keeping our ears open."

Noisettes certainly took an unconventional approach to starting songwriting. Fresh from tour in summer 2007, guitarist Dan Smith (a man known to pair silver trousers with a yellow, sequinned shirt) and bearded drummer Jamie Morrison (who still seems surprised to be in a band at all) began sonic experiments that involved getting stoned before trips to the Natural History Museum, then attempting to cover the likes of Britney's Hit Me Baby (One More Time).

"We wrote over the top of lots of brilliant, outright pop songs, then removed the backing track to see what was left," explains Morrison. "None of what we ended up with appears on the album, but the process inspired us to come up with new ways of songwriting. We also hung out in a lot of clubs, then came home and tried to copy the sounds we liked. That freed us from the conventions of writing guitar-based tunes."

Come autumn, the trio piled their equipment in to a van and spent random weeks writing at residential studios in the likes of Devon and Brighton. En route, they listened to early Prince and Portishead, Queen, Talk Talk and Fleetwood Mac. The theme of the songs was captured in the album's title.

"Wild Young Hearts - it's about feeling young and acting young, whatever your age," says Smith. "It's about having fun and not following the pack. The three of us became genuine friends making this record. We got drunk together and even trashed the odd hotel room. We're very different people, but we formed a bond which you can hear in the songs."

The new material was road tested at sporadic shows last year, including a performance at South By South West and a tour of France, where Don't Upset The Rhythm brought the house down every night, convincing Noisettes they were on to something special. Yet the band still weren't sure how the album would sound until they holed up in a London studio last June with Arctic Monkey's producer Jim Abbiss.

"We knew we wanted soul and an atmosphere that captured a specific period of time, the way Portishead albums do," says Morrison. "But we had never played the songs together in a studio. All the parts were demoed separately on computer, with no real instruments. The idea was to feel like we were covering songs we vaguely knew, so the album sounded fresh and spontaneous. It was so much fun we recorded a tune a day and didn't argue once!"

Friends came in to add bass parts and strings and both Shoniwa's little brother (a semi-finalist on TV talent search show I'd Do Anything) and a baritone from her childhood choir contributed backing vocals. Most striking though is the range of Shoniwa's own vocals - soft and beguiling on album opener Sometimes, jazzy on the acoustic Atticus, strident and sexy on Don't Upset The Rhythm and bright and bluesy on the Motown-tinged So Complicated and future single Never Forget You.

"I grew up with traditional music from Zimbabwe - Afrobeat mixed with reggae and funk, which my uncles played," says Shoniwa. "Then I studied musical theatre, sang in choirs and jazz bands. Dan even got me a job singing vocals in a Diana Ross covers band. Because of that background, I can wrap myself around anything from a sweet soul ballad to a jazz song to noisy rock'n'roll."

"We all felt Shingai's voice was sitting idle a bit on the first album," adds Smith. "Because most of the songs were guitar based, she had much less to play with. Shingai has an amazing jazz voice, but that didn't come through before. Now, you can hear all her different moods. How she sings sets the tone for every song. On Never Forget You, she's very upbeat and the lyrics sound like a conversation in a bar. On Every Now And Then, she's more melancholy and reflective. The contrast is like going out on a Saturday night, then paying for it the next morning."

What hasn't changed with Noisettes is the energy they put in to performing. Described as `the best live band in Britain' by The Guardian, a recent London show saw Shoniwa charge in to the audience playing guitar and sing clinging to a ladder suspended from the ceiling, a nod to the circus skills she learnt in her teens.

"The idea of putting on a proper show seems to be missing from a lot of young bands at the moment," says Shoniwa. "We always go that extra mile to give the crowd a night they'll never forget. I love artists like Hendrix and Bowie who fussed over their hair and took time choosing an outfit.

"We're not trying to be trendy - we want to make music for everyone - but we put effort in to every aspect of being in a band. Our aim is to prove that pop music can still be alternative and exciting. With this album, I know we can do that."


1. Wild Young Hearts
2. Don't Upset The Rhythm (Go Baby Go)
3. Never Forget You
4. Saturday Night
5. Atticus
6. Every Now And Then
7. 24 Hours
8. Beat Of My Heart
9. Sometimes
10. Cheap Kicks

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 22, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mercury
  • ASIN: B002DXU53E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,499 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John W. Dunner on October 1, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is the album that Amy Winehouse would have made if she could sing (or stay straight, whichever came first). Unlike Noisettes' earlier releases, which emphasized the punk side of a punk-soul mix, Wild Young Hearts beats a path straight to Motown's door, stopping to pick up a Blondie wig along the way. A little bit schizophrenic, but jumping with unbridled joy, Wild Young Hearts beats a disco rhythm one minute ("Don't Upset the Rhythm") and Bristol-like stomp ("Never Forget You") the next. An unpretentious breath of fresh air, singer / bassist Shingai Shoniwa will snap up your eyelids and feet alike. Wild Young Hearts is simply irresistible.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dj for dj's on October 7, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
This is such a cool sounding album, a little this, a little that. Some early No Doubt twisted with Classic Soul. I don't know what to call this album. Sultry Punk?, I am so in love
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Olga on September 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The lead female vocalist has a unique, very-rare sound. Her music is free flowing and almost sounds vintage. She is very similar in looks and style as Janelle Monae. When a reviewer of her album listens to the music and watches her music videos, they get a taste of what she wants to put out there to the world. Strictly listening to her album may make a listener think, 'what is she talking about.' Her music video for Never Forget You is briliant. She has fun with words and finds a way to play them without being mainstream. Her greatest on here Don't Upset the Rhythm (Go Baby Go) and Saturday Night. There is only one "3 star" song. The rest are four and above. Her talent is unique which gives her 5 stars in my book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Antoine D. Reid VINE VOICE on October 24, 2009
Format: Audio CD
'Wild Young Hearts' for me was definitely one of those surprising albums of the year - the type that come out of nowhere from a group that you really haven't heard of that turns out to be ten times better than anything that gets a tone of publicity and attention. If you are looking for an album that has some elements of rock and old school doo-wop, 'Wild Young Hearts' is definitely for you. It's hard to describe the group's genre or vibe simply because by listening to the album, you can tell the music has been inspired by various artists and musical movements. The end product is an album that can get you moving and dancing, as with "Don't Upset the Rhythm", and music that is very moving and reflective and packed with emotion and sentiment, as with "Cheap Kicks".

The Good: The vocals performed by Shingai Shoniwa is definitely what gives 'Wild Young Hearts' it's flair and attitude. Her voice, unlike so many artists these days, is natural and not computerized or auto-tuned. The Noisettes exude uniqueness and individuality with their music relying on vocals left untouched and natural backed with actual instrumentals that give each song a very indie rock vibe as if you're listening to this group in concert or in an intimate setting like a small club venue. I can tell that the group put time into actually developing the music and the lyrics. Basically, when you're listening to 'Wild Young Hearts' you feel the music is authentic and personal and that the Noisettes really put themselves into the music. The music itself reminded me a lot of doo-wop infused with pop and rock. If I had to compare them to anyone it would be Blondie; the music has a very early 1980s punk rock vibe; happy, whimsical, lyrics and a voice that's unique and really pulls you in. There's really no 'bad' song on the release.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vince E. Abbott on October 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD is a mix of the 60's mixed with a modern style and bluesy at times. The song 'Never Forget You' is what drew me to the album. Though it remains my favorite the whole CD is entertaining. For $10 it was well worth the purchase. I know they have made other CD's but not sure if I would purchase those since this album is the 'breakthrough' album that put them on the Ellen show and David Letterman.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Ellington VINE VOICE on February 23, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I want to thank Sealinewuman for bringing this band to my attention when commenting on my review of V.V. Brown's `The Attic EP'. I had heard of The Noisettes, but I'd never really given them much attention. After devouring their latest album, `Wild Young Hearts', I'm ready to pounce all over `What's the Time Mr. Wolf'.

Once I do, I'll be sure to weigh in.

Grabbing at influences that range from funk to pop to R&B and hip-hop, to jazz and punk and even flares of country (Sometimes); The Noisettes have a deep pool to choose from, and while their influences may crop up here and there in subtle flourishes, they are recognizable and admirable, for they add layers of uniqueness to this album. I'm intrigued to get my hands on their debut album, for I have a feeling it may be even more diverse than this album (correct me if I'm wrong), and so I have this aching feeling I may even like that album more than I like this one.

But serious, I am dying to hear their stoned out take on `Hit Me Baby (One More Time)'!

The album opens strong, with `Wild Young Hearts' setting the tone and pace of the album (the funk throwback feel is the strongest influence on this album). I love the playfulness of the track. It lets you know right up front that this is a happy album. The band even made mention in interviews that this was an album about being young, no matter what you age, by the way you act; enjoying your life and having fun. `Wild Young Hearts' is a beautiful way to introduce that morale. `Don't Upset The Rhythm (Go Baby Go)' comes next, screaming 60's and proving even more exciting and engaging than `Wild Young Hearts'.

Pure disco brilliance.

The best track on the album, without any hesitation whatsoever, is `Never Forget You'.
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Differences between US version and UK version
Yeah, I saw that and I am dead angry!!! I was waiting for the US version and I saw it and freaked out!! Check out my review...I HATE when the do that, and it feels permanent, like the damage has been done...the label thinks people won't notice...well, it's damge to US sales really, and it's 11... Read More
Sep 25, 2009 by Larry Davis |  See all 2 posts
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