Reviewed by Phil Thomson
It's difficult to take this delightful tirade seriously. What the lady delivers, irrespective of age, is full-on teen angst with all the preoccupations of fashion, sex, faith, drugs, colour of skin - nothing seems to be left out - in a style somewhere between sung speech ,rap and political rant. What we hear is complex, witty linguistic gymnastics, sometimes in tracks of assertive poetry with attitude, sometimes in song, in a whimsical, girly gospel voice. Her band play along with the gags, teasing out mini jazz morsels into three minutes worth of pure invention when they can, but finding it hard to keep up with this unstoppable pouter. She definitely has the audience on her side. There is some inventive songwriting going on and it's hard to make a distinction between live and studio material, all of which seems intentionally theatrical. One moment Michaela is in confessional mode, delivering up intimate gossip on the dance floor, next, full of self-righteous invective, accusing the world of giving her a bad time ''cos she's black' - cue the patois. The tongue-in-cheek Barbie reference is a perfect allusion for this particular doll. But, however fresh and clever, it is definitely an acquired taste. Michaela comes across as the kind of person who could make saying 'I love you' confrontational. The point is, it works. Hopefully, this London-based performance poet-cum-singer-cum-rapper will manage to avoid becoming a parody of herself. I would guarantee there's nothing like it out there so she's already teetering on the brink of true originality. Whether or not Michaela goes on to stardom is quite another matter, of course.
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