Killer Opening Songs has a natural propensity towards artists who challenge themselves. Especially those who do it in the predictable world of pop music. Kimbra is one of those artists. Since K.O.S. first heard the New Zealand-born chanteuse on Radio Paradise, our Regular Musical Section with Homicidal Tendencies has been on a magical journey that’s taken it from jazz to funk, to Latin music. These are just some of the genres gently stroked by the up-and-coming star in her debut album, Vows.
Settle Down is the Killer Opening Song that
unleashes Kimbra’s talent on to the world. “Unleash” is the right word in this
context for creativity in the fickle world of pop is hard to come by these
days. This is the reason why, when one comes across catchy tunes with
meaningful lyrics, the effect is that of getting caught in the middle of a
musical downpour with no previous warning. Settle
Down is a magnificently-arranged funky parody of domestic bliss longing.
You know Kimbra’s being facetious from the opening lines: I wanna settle down/I wanna settle
down/Won't you settle down with me?/Settle down/We can settle at a table/A
table for two/Won't you wine and dine with me?/Settle down. All the time
And all this against a groovy background of
hand-clapping and zany vocals.
in a similar quirky and unpredictable vein. Something
in the Way You Are is a slow soul jam. Cameo
Lover harks back to 60s girls groups. Old
Flame could well have come of Wham’s
songbook. Good Intent is a proper
R’n’B Timbaland-lite melody. She even has time to re-work Nina Simone’s Plain Gold Ring, maybe the album’s
weakest moment. Kudos, though, for her audacity.
didn’t just materialise out of thin air even if that’s the impression with
which the album and, especially the Killer
Opening Song Settle Down, leaves you. She was
the guest vocal on Belgian-Australian multi-instrumental musician Gotye’s Somebody I Used to Know, one of the most
beautiful pop songs K.O.S. has heard
in recent years.
not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you like your music running along clear-cut
lines, then, Kimbra’s not for you. If, however, you don’t mind stylistically
disjointed records with a dash of electro-funk, a pinch of indie and a teaspoon
of chill-out all mixed, re-mixed and simmering slowly in a smooth jazz marinade,
then, this will probably be your must-buy CD of 2013. And it all begins with a Killer Opening Song.
Next Post: “Sunday Mornings:
Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be
published on 17th March at 10am (GMT)