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Detroit born Alex Winston spent some of last year being compared to Marina And The Diamonds, partly because the music she makes is unquestionably pop, but mostly because she’s cute and has dark hair and looks good in a jumpsuit. Winston is in fact nothing like Marina – she sings in a high, biting pixie shriek, not a deep, Gwen Stefani-ish head cold, and ‘King Con’ has one real dud track, not one real highlight. She’s Marina, inverted.

‘Benny’ – a nursery rhyme that is somehow both nauseating and dreary – is the shocker, but even that’s about Benny Hinn, a real-life crooked American preacher, perfectly in keeping with the record’s title and order of the day – Del Boys and shaman. The sexualising of every day objects (on ‘Velvet Elvis’), the condoned adolescent rebellion of the Amish church (on ‘Run Rumspringa’) and the idea of selling your kids before settling your debts (‘Medicine’) further pitch Winston as a post-Little Boots pop kook, sure, but nevertheless one who has tales to tell that go beyond developing a crush down the disco.

And yet, for all its clever lyrics, themes and thoughts, ‘King Con’ could really be all about boys and remain just as appealing, certainly to anyone who appreciates impossibly melodic, blog-dominating pop music. It’s because, like Florence And The Machine, every track Winston has made here could make for a radio hit. It means that a lot of people will hate Alex Winston, of course, because everyone else seems to be enamoured with her joyous, primary coloured songs. But sometimes there’s just no denying a hook, and if you discarded all of those that make up ‘King Con’, its running time would be around 5 minutes. For people who claim they like “good pop music”, this is it.

By Austin Laike

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