Album Watch: Renew Kimbra's 'Vows'
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Last year I dubbed New Zealand newcomer Kimbra as an 'artful dodger' thanks to her debut album, Vows which played a great snatch n' steal game of genre hopping (and was was #11 on my Adventures In 2011: Albums series). With variant tracks such as "Settle Down", "Old Flame", her impeccable reading of Nina Simone's "Plain Gold Ring", and of course the brilliant "Cameo Lover", Kimbra is taking music where it needs to go---coming atcha from all sides. Just don't call her the 'Somebody I Used To Know Girl' as Kimbra is doing what any good overseas artist should do---crossover into the land of red, white, and blue to share the wealth.
Vows has recently been re-packaged and re-released for the States this month, with seven brand new tracks and an altered tracklisting. Usually I give a nose scrunch to re-releases, but hearing Vows in a newer guise is just as refreshing as ever (shame though that "Call Me" and "Withdraw" are sadly erased) as it has expanded the snappy and the quirk from the original pressing. She continues to popcorn pop around in her element with touches on R&B ("Something In The Way You Are", "Posse"), some Santigold-esque funk ("Come Into My Head"), and skittish dream pop that would give Marina & The Diamonds a nice run for her money ("Sally I Can See You", "Home")---and all of it is excitingly produced. Also on the roster is "Warrior" (which was done in collaboration for Converse 'Three Artist, One Song' campaign) and it features Mark Foster of Foster The People and A-Trak, and it's an electric slide of summery synths that peps up the step.
Vows continues to play like a debut set, where everything is thrown at you hoping something will stick, but due to it's variance, there is a lot to like on it. What's also neat about Vows is all the different versions and remixes floating around to where you can do the 'Internet DYI thing' and assemble your own 'perfect' Vows album. As for me, I have just tacked the seven new US tracks and some remixes onto my international version of Vows to make a pretty perfect eighteen track album---but that's just me.
In summary, if you're brand new to Kimbra and her bounce-around style, and have no understanding as to why Vows and "Cameo Lover" were rated so highly by me last year, now's your chance to do the hipster thing and get into her before all your friends do.