Actively or passively, if you lived through the 90s, you experienced Britney Spears. She was pop royalty by her 18th birthday and has pushed the boundaries of the genre across what is now three decades. This is why a one-sheet from the synth-pop outfit Night Club comparing the singer to a young Britney Spears is startling. Setting the bar high is fine, but they may as well have put it on the moon.
Unfortunately they do little to back up the comparison. The singer’s voice is more cloying than “salacious coo” (as the release reads), though this can be overlooked as the album isn’t meant to be carried by the vocal performance alone. However, the music and beats are nothing groundbreaking, often reused, and can be winding and unfocused at times. “Give Yourself Up” and “Poisonous” both stem from the same bass line, and while “Don’t Wanna Love You Forever” has an unmistakable drive, it’s mostly just three notes.
Love Casualty is an intriguing title as it’s hard to tell whether the singer is a casualty of love or whether love itself is dead. “Don’t Wanna Love You Forever” embodies the blasé nature of dance floor hook-ups and “Give Yourself Up” is more hypnotic mind-altering than seductive plea. Additionally, “Precious Thing” has some dark, brutal lyrics that make a listener wonder how the singer treats those she doesn’t deem precious.
“Poisonous” returns us to the Britney comparisons as, lyrically, it’s basically an inextricable copy of “Toxic.” Perhaps this connection wouldn’t be so obvious if there had been something more substantive to hold on to, but, “my head is spinning around/you got me upside down” isn’t going to cut it. “Strobe Light” is not only weak lyrically–far too many off-kilter lines ending in the word “me”–but the analogy itself is pretty tenuous.
If the purpose of this album is to add a couple of tracks to a dance playlist that don’t need to be immediately skipped, then I suppose it has succeeded. But looking a little more critically, there isn’t much on Love Casualty that makes it a redeeming album. The vocals, music, and lyrics all fall short of anything that could be considered solidly average.