(U.S. ITunes Version)
Favorites: Settle Down, Something in the Way You Are, Old Flame
Overall: Revitalizing. Stimulating lyrics and an eclectic sound.
In a prior review, I stated that Haley Reinhart’s “Listen Up!” was one of the 1st albums of 2012 that I absolutely adored. Kimbra’s “Vows” is the 2nd. Getting the attention of American listeners with her featured vocals on Gotye’s “Someone I Used to Know,” the New Zealander is bound to keep our captivation with her debut studio album. For anyone who listens to today’s mainstream music, “Vows” will be invigorating as it has contemporary appeal, but it’s far from falling in line with the current trend of shallow, simplistic lyrical content and redundant, predictable music production. As a co-writer/producer, the songstress addresses love and self-reflection primarily using imagery and metaphors. Vocally, Kimbra’s deliciously versatile, as she flows from heavy, sultry and soulful to light and airy. Musically, the album is a fantastic, diverse gumbo of alternative, pop and R&B/soul, with hints of jazz, electronica and baroque pop. The hefty amount of live instrumentation is much appreciated. In my opinion, there are only 3 downsides to the record. Some of the lyrics could be deemed as too abstract or convoluted to get a clear understanding, parts of the album are too consistent in tempo and run the risk of sounding “sleepy” and some of the vocals are so soft that one would have to be extra attentive to hear. Aside from that, this album is a smash and must be purchased. Most of the tracks can be found on YouTube for preview. Check out the M-Phazes remix of "Settle Down," which I LOVE, below.