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yMusic: Review of Kimbra's Vows

Only slightly representative of her music.
Kimbra's album, Vows, is another item I pre-ordered on iTunes, just like Florence + the Machine's Ceremonials.

Ever since I spotted her in "Somebody That You Used to Know" by Gotye, just like everyone else, and YouTube recommendations led me to her "Settle Down", like a fraction of that everyone else, I kept an eye on her. Dad did too, partly because of her looks.

Look at the album cover (to the left)!  The body paint patterns are nicely done, to the point I didn't know it was body paint until a YouTube video of the process was posted.

But regardless, it's worth the $10 I shelled out to Mom.


Notable Observations on Songs:

Since I don't want to torture you guys with a four-part series, like I did for Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, I'll keep it brief--to a degree. 

I won't make notes on all the songs, considering I'm preparing for a vacation as I'm writing this, but I'll provide my thoughts on the other songs if you request certain ones in the comments.

First of all, "Settle Down". Its composition is fantastic, from the self-vocals serving as a hook, to the scream Kimbra releases after the subdued bridge. Also, the subject matter is a nice twist to the standard romance song. It's about a girl who wants to be a standard housewife--Kimbra wrote the song as a joke when she was sixteen.

"Somebody in the Way You Are" possesses a jungle-like vibe. Although it has some mind-blowing vocals, its unevenness grounds it and makes it a little unmemorable.

"Cameo Lover" is a breezy song with violin plucking that's probably one of the more radio-worthy songs.

"Old Flame" has a sun-rise-like verses, with rising choruses. Also, it manages to do the "na-na's" better than One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" (which has wonky composition and repetitive lyrics).

"Good Intent" calls back to another era, with a nice instrumental section near the end.

See notes on "Plain Gold Ring (Live)" in the next section.

"Come Into My Head" (sic) is the most ear-wormy and head-bobbing of the bunch. It hits hard with a more up-beat mood than  most of the rest of the album. Kimbra further displays her range, shifting from high to low, from gruff to edgy to warbley to right-out ham within seconds. It's a song that few other artists will able to replicate.Too bad Dad thinks it's only okay--and the capitalized preposition will set off hundreds of Grammar Nazis.

"Home" and "The Build Up" sort of dip off near the end, with "Home" starting to blend in with the sound of the album, and "The Build Up" being melancholic yet on-note. Regardless, it's a nice way to end Vows.

Note on this Version:

The version I bought is the American and European re-release. Kimbra's from New Zealand, and her album dominated that area and the Down Under back in 2011.

For the 2012 version, Kimbra recorded five new songs with American producers, displacing five other songs. Two of those songs are on the deluxe album, although three others weren't exported. Sorry, folks.

Also, the original version of "Plain Gold Ring" was exiled to the deluxe edition, with a live version from Sing Sing Studio taking its place. Personally, the latter version is better, since it builds into a climax, even if its a bit foggy at that moment.

If you want the 2011 version, and the songs that are only on that edition...make sure you import it legitimately. Or at least buy the 2012 version first. (wink wink, nudge, nudge, argh.)

Overall Thoughts:

Kimbra has established her sound quite well, even though I'm not sure what genre she considers herself to be. Although she doesn't possess the sheer power of Florence, she one-ups Lana Del Rey with a mythical sound, layered instrumentals, a flexible voice with a great range, and background self-vocals that she's not afraid to show off in impressive flourishes that reach up to great heights. 

The highlights are mostly the bridges, in my opinion. Only a few songs are lukewarm, and even those have an artistic spark.

Although Vows doesn't have the sound that can rock the radios, Kimbra doesn't have to. At the level she's at, she clearly shows that she'll be around for a while.

In my book, Vows is a solid 4.5/5.

Buy the album on iTunes HERE.

P.S.: Don't forget to check out the yMusic playlist on YouTube! I loaded up three music videos of Kimbra's singles, along with two live performances (one being on the album). Don't forget to like the playlist. 

Here's a taste: