Friends - Manifest!
An insidiously hooky album that's sometimes brilliant, sometimes bloomin’ annoying
There are songs you can’t get out of your head, and then there are songs you wish you could get out of your head. In the latter category: ‘Hey Baby’ by DJ Otzi. In the former: Friends’ ‘Friend Crush’ and ‘I’m His Girl’. The Brooklyn band’s well-blogged hipster hits distil the edginess of New York musical history (from punk to disco, The New York Dolls to Blondie) into radio-friendly three-minute chunks. Their debut album winds in and out that same groove, only sometimes hitting it. Lead singer Samantha Urbani can’t seem to decide whether she wants to be Karen O, Fever Ray or Cyndi Lauper, and does anyone really care as much as her about hipster sexual politics? This insidiously hooky album straddles both sides of the ‘Hey Baby’ divide, being sometimes brilliant, and sometimes bloomin’ annoying.