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Kimbra - Album review: Primal Heart

29 Apr 2018 // A review by Jacquie Walters

Kimbra's Primal Heart is a fascinating album of many disparate parts. In some ways it’s more a producer’s album than a singer’s, featuring texture and complex production as the artist explores the varied expressions of her undeniable and prodigious talent.

The crisp, tight, and layered opening track, The Good War, is reminiscent of Lorde but by track two Kimbra is firmly asserting her individuality.

Nothing about this album is predicitable or formulaic which makes it captivating from start to finish. At times its big, insistent sound begs for a large sound system and the windows thrown open. It’s for dancing, sharing, and shouting from the rooftops.

At other times it’s intimate and stripped back. For me, that is when it’s at its strongest. Past Love, Right Direction and Version of Me were my personal favourites with Kimbra’s fantastic vocals to the fore but with just enough edge and unease to keep you on notice that your full attention is required.

Version of Me in particular is an absolutely stunning track. Don’t let the gentle piano intro fool you as the dark, unsettling production never lets this track fall into complacency. The lyrics are also on point as they express the promises often made by lovers. “Next time I’ll be kinder with you. There’s just this habit that I have. Throw my words around like fire. They catch on your good heart and your piece of mind...There’s a better version of me. Stay for the person I will be.”

Primal Heart is an exploration rather than a cohesive whole with a singular or overarching voice. But the places it takes its listener to are compelling, intriguing and never dull.

★★★★ (4 stars)


Review written by Jacquie Walters

 

About Kimbra

Passionate about mixing an array of genres and sounds into one with a soulful voice and twist to the average singer/songwriter. With anthem-like songs advised and emphasised with quirky jazz chords, Kimbra's music steps outside the square of the four chord cliché but still mantains strong hooks and catchy melodies that are sometimes unpredictable but satisfying. With such ecclectic influences vocally and musically, Kimbras' music adopts a fresh unique taste to acoustic music.

Having already received two NZ On Air grants and Second place in the Smokefree Rockquest 2004 along with Best Vocals and Womens Musicianship, music got its A into G from there. After 3 consecutive years in Rockquest (two of which were at the National Finals and gaining over $7000 in total from the generous competition) Kimbra created a slick live performance which was priceless along with many lifelong friendships. Grateful to Rockquest, live performance has been Kimbra's aid and footstep into success with music. The competition trained her to perform with the state of mind like that of a band and attempt to provide rhythm, melody and the dynamics of a full band that separates her performance from other solo artists.

Kimbras' first single was recorded at the infamous York St Studios with Welsh producer Greg Haver (who has worked with artists/ bands all over the world, including Manic Street Preachers, Lost Prophets, Carly Binding, 48May, Falter and The Checks). Deep For You was then funded for a Video which gained play on nationwide radio and C4.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Kimbra

Releases

Primal Heart
Year: 2018
Type: Album
The Golden Echo
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Vows
Year: 2011
Type: Album

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