After years of pop radio being filled with bland pop and watered down rap with an occasional adult contemporary or country crossover song, Foster the People crashed the Top 40 last year with the weirdest hit song since the alternative craze of the nineties when MTV was still pushing buzzworthy bands. Their success opened up the door for more weird pop songs by fun. and the xylophone heavy Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye, both of which have kept more traditional pop songs from boy bands, Justin Bieber and the Call Me Maybe chick out of the number one spot on the Hot 100 since fun. topped the chart back on St. Patrick’s Day.
As good as the Goyte song is, let’s face it, Kimbra is what takes a good song and makes it great. We have all heard their fair share of kiss off songs, but rarely do we ever get to hear the other side of the story in the same song (I am sure the guy referenced in Since U Been Gone would have liked the chance to refute some of the claims in that song). I cannot remember it happening since Positive K’s I Got a Man. After two verses and a chorus of accusations of being coldhearted, Kimbra comes in and shoots back about how manipulative he is. Oh, snap.
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression and Kimbra did a very good job with her first impression here in the States. Even with Somebody That I Used to Know still at number one, Kimbra is ready to make a name for herself with her debut album Vows being released this week in America. Vows is the left of center pop music that you would expect from the small sliver of Kimbra you heard on the Gotye track, but it is a little jarring with how angry that song was that her album is very happy and hopeful and filled with tales of a much healthier relationship.
Right off the bat, Kimbra is ready to Settle Down, and raise a family and even has names picked out (Nebraska Jones). Throughout the thirteen tracks she shows off a vocal charisma that rivals her flashy persona using her voice as an instrument and not just a vessel to deliver lyrics be it the peppy boom’s in Settle Down or the haunting ooo’s in Plain Gold Ring. Musically the songs on Vows are so diverse you are not going to confuse one song from another be it the RnB flavor of Something in the Way You Are, the disco feel of Cameo Lover, Good Intent is the catchiest pop song on the album, the horns infused rock of Come Into My Head, the techno beats of Sally I Can See You.
As good as the previous songs on the album are, none are as good as the bonus track of Warrior, the song Kimbra did with Mark Foster (of the People fame) and producer A-Trak is the best song on the album and none of the songs reach the high of Somebody I Used to Know. But Vows lays down the foundation of what could be a great sophomore album, the way Adele took the massive jump inbetween her first two albums.
Song to Download – Something in the Way You Are
You can also download for free from this album Warrior courtesy of Converse, Cameo Lover on iTunes, and Good Intent over at MTV.com.
Vows gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.