When we last left songstress Helen Dooley of the London-based The Cheek of Her, the newly released EP, Bitter Heart Mantra was met with a brusque review. Despite acknowledging some of Dooley’s foibles in emulating a 2007-centric Kate Nash on Bitter Heart Mantra, the previous BBC2 darling seems to have quite an international love affair with Amanda Palmer devotees. The video for The Cheek of Her’s latest single, “9 Lives,” entertains the aforementioned enamored audience get a black cats, twee animation and a healthy dose of the young professional’s view of U.K.
Song mythos aside, the video immediately reminds one of something that would’ve premiered on MySpace a decade ago. It’s the type of video that would have had the tenacity to be plastered within one’s profile until something else from Underoath came along and replaced its embed code. One might argue that MySpace Music is still a highly appropriate spot for “9 Lives” – and they’d be right. The animated embodiment of a feline Dooley gets across the point of the “9 Lives” just fine, but ends up looking like a poor Robert Smigel parody of Hannah-Barbera in the process.
Yet, compared to the rest of Dooley’s work, the “9 Lives” music video is the most imaginative of the bunch, subjugating lyric videos and the band pantomiming for a silly albeit cute transformation. The Cheek of Her represents the repressed sexuality of a demographic that is inconsistently concerned with quality yet caters to listeners who appreciate arrangements with depth. It’s baffling, but perhaps that’s why The Cheek of Her is something of great interest as it invokes nostalgia and with it a lack of understanding one’s personal taste. “Burn The Witch” it’s certainly not, but it’s a go-to-hell animated racket that doesn’t ask too much. I’ll take it.