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False Smiles

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Album Review

Teenage rebellion. Bags of attitude. An album full of radio-friendly guitar pop tunes. You can understand the comparisons with Avril Lavigne. But that would be a disservice to Amy Studt, as while the Canadian Sk8er Girl's rock chick persona sometimes appears contrived, Studt's debut is carried out with conviction. One look at the credits reveals that it would be unfair to lump Studt in with the majority of her manager Simon Fuller's other manufactured acts, as she penned every one of the rather prolific 14 tracks, alongside some more illustrious songwriters such as Gary Barlow, Cathy Dennis, and Karen Poole. And it's this mixture of the pop writing establishment and raw talent that makes her debut all the more refreshing. "Misfit," an ode to reveling in being a nonconformist, is as loud and brash a call to arms you could possibly get as Studt growls "Anything you can do, I can do better." It's a ploy repeated on the glorious single that never was, "Ladder in My Tights," as she playfully fantasizes about using dynamite to get revenge against her enemies. It might be a bit of a one-trick pony act if the rest of the album were in the same vein. Luckily, she's got more than just the teenage angst string to her bow. "If Only" is a lovely understated chillout dance; "Carry Me Away" is a piano-driven epic; and "Gonna Be Fine" contains more vocal leaps than a Mariah Carey record, but thankfully less histrionics. The album's pièce de résistance is "Seconds Away," a gorgeous and haunting ballad that starts off melancholy and builds up into a crescendo of guitars and strings that shows off Studt's fragile but beautiful voice to full effect. Occasionally, the album veers into typical self-pitying teenager territory, particularly on the final track, "Nobody," and "Happy Now" is a rather misplaced attempt at musical theater, but this is an inventive affair that combines teenage innocence with a world-weary maturity. [This edition of False Smiles includes bonus tracks.] ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Amy makes me studtter...check out this album...

I never really understood why this girl was dropped in the first place as I always loved her stuff. She is just about the only female solo pop artist that is worth listening to these days (apart from Christina!) and this album is better than I expected. I must admit I didn't buy it all but chose the songs that sounded best and that's probably a good idea. The best tracks are probably her singles, (Just a little girl being my favourite) however, Ladder in my tights, Gonna be fine and Seconds away are good too. I can't wait for her to return this year, I hear she has been recording some really good stuff and I for one am looking forward to it. I think the music scene in the UK has moved on so much in the last 18 months, from the manufactured pop crap to the live music scene and she will fit in much better now than she did in 2003. I hope she is successful this time because she deserves it I'd say...deffinately keep your ears open for her...


I only became aware of Amy by the time her third single came out and after that I went out and bought everything she did. Her lyrics speak of frustration, disappointment and sadness, counteracted by the urge to be strongly independent. These themes come across so powerfully with good, well-constructed tunes that, at times, it is very hard to realise she is still so young. She disappeared far too quickly from the scene due to poor album sales, but through iTunes, her music can be found again. Little without prejudice (ignore the Avril comparisons) and allow yourself to be treated to an artist-in-the -making. (Her b-sides are great too!)

Good old girl angst

Teenage girl angst music at its glorious best. Good feel good music.


Born: 22 March 1986 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Signed to Simon Fuller's 19 Management, Amy Studt was hailed as the U.K.'s answer to Avril Lavigne, despite the fact she had first appeared on the pop scene a full six months earlier. Born in Bournemouth in March 1986, Studt grew up in a musical family, with her father a violinist and conductor who had toured with Roy Orbison, and her mother the head of music at a local school. Studt taught herself piano, guitar, and oboe, among other musical instruments, and started to write songs as early as the...
Full bio
False Smiles, Amy Studt
View in iTunes
  • £5.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Pop, Pop/Rock
  • Released: 01 January 2002

Customer Ratings