On Nocturnes, Little Boots (a.k.a. Victoria Hesketh) walks a fine line between the ‘90s grooves of St. Etienne and the 21st-century glitz of Lady GaGa. She does it with a cool finesse captured in gossamer-light vocals that never lose their teasing charm, even when her lyrics turn angry or wistful. The album’s sleek flow benefits from Hesketh’s recent gigs as a DJ, as well as from Tim Goldsworthy’s smart, incisive production. Built around an after-hours theme, Nocturne takes Little Boots from escapist fantasies (“Motorway”) through dance club romance (“Beat Beat”) and helpless surrender (“All for You”). There’s real venom (along with disco laser effects galore) in “Confusion,” as well as quietly desperate longing in “Strangers.” When she chooses, Little Boots can deliver inescapably catchy electro-pop gems like “Broken Record,” as well as sultry, Madonna-esque ballads, such as “Every Night I Say a Prayer.” She plays the role of club diva with authority (especially in the throbbing “Shake” and the swirling “Satellite”) yet never seems trapped in that role. Nocturne is a smooth yet subtle audio cocktail that will leave you dreamy-eyed after the dance is over.

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