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Ronika is not like most pop stars. Yes, we know this is a huge cliché about pop artists that don't conform to the impenetrably dull model of pop that groups like The Saturdays' represent. But Ronika really is an oddity.

For a start, most pop stars don't write and produce the entirety of their own records and rarely (if ever?) has a pop star named their album after a defunct local record store and released it on their own record label. And if you really need more, most pop stars haven't been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and been shot at in the back of a taxi. Ronika, for better and for worse, has done all of the above. So this ain't no manufactured, Capital FM-ready bullshit we're talking about. Ronika is a DIY pop star for the 21 century...well, almost.

Whilst she may write and produce her own music, which gives her a certain level of good favour, her debut album Selectadisc is heavily saturated in its own influences with little in the way of new ideas. This doesn't mean it's a bad album. Quite the contrary, it's a dance-floor ready, pop-extravaganza. Written over 3/4 years in her home studio in Nottingham; the hooks on Selectadisc are endless and there is no let-up in the move-your-hips-or-die velocity over the course of these 13 tracks.

Starting the proceedings is 'Forget Yourself' a Chic-meets-Kylie disco-pop banger, the song that slut-dropping was surely made for. '1000 Nights' could be a long lost B-side to Madonna's 'Get In To The Groove' with its Morodor-esque pulsating bass and starry canvas of synths. A perfect hybrid between house and new-romantic pop on 'Clock' makes for the album's most sophisticated moment, in part due to an inspired choice of duet in the form of jazz singer Charles Washington, who does his best eerie Phil Oakey impression. In fact, parts of the album aren't a million miles away from Little Boots' 'Symmetry' featuring the Mr Oakey himself. And that's precisely the problem. It's impossible to listen to any track on this album without thinking 'this sounds like...'

This is a problem because the endless borrowing on Selectadisc begins to overshadow Ronika's obvious talent for melody and production. Elements from house-ballroom era ('In The City') or early '80s R&B artists like Mtume or Evelyn "Champagne" King ('Shell Shocked') are particularly omnipresent, whilst many other styles (italo-disco, funk, hip-hop) are fused, contorted, dressed up and dressed down in an attempt to keep things fresh. Sure, it's all done to a high standard, but the lack of originality leads to an over-familiarity across the songs. This in turn causes them to blur. A slimmer selection of 10 tracks would have sufficed and make a greater impact individually.

The other unforeseen consequence of the constant homages is that Ronika has positioned herself too closely to other artists that have already pillaged similar sources. As well as the aforementioned Little Boots, moments like the cheeky refrain in 'What's In Your Bag?' sounds a lot like the Scissor Sisters' 'Any Which Way' and it would be criminal not to mention Roisin Murphy's 'Overpowered' which plays with the same disco/house elements of Selectadisc but arguable does it a lot better.

Despite this, Ronika is still a pop star worth getting behind. The album is as fun as any other record you'll likely to hear this year and the crate-digging passion that comes through, to some extent, should be applauded. A very promising debut, but more will be required in the future.

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