“Who is Kimbra?” almost everyone asks me. You may find yourself wondering the same thing. But if you listen to the radio a lot on the way to class or are up-to-date on the latest mainstream hits, I can guarantee you know her. Gotye’s “Somebody that I Used to Know,” a popular radio play, features Kimbra’s beautiful vocals. I didn’t like Gotye’s song at first, but when I was forced to listen to the entire song on the shuttle, I was impressed by Kimbra’s 30-second guest appearance. I was so impressed that I went home and did my research. I then found myself happily procrastinating an essay that was due the next day, and going through videos and videos on YouTube, discovering who exactly Kimbra is.
My first impressions were that image-wise, from the dark hair and outlandish wardrobe, she is reminiscent of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O — that alone had me liking her. Although their music style is not the same, I couldn’t tell you exactly what genre Kimbra is.
Kimbra makes a great decision by opening her album “Vows” with the track “Settle Down.” The first minute relies mostly on vocals and hand clapping, with only a hint of a simple bass line. The song then builds; the bassline increases and a tambourine can be heard. The song title says it all. Kimbra sings about wanting to settle down but an arch nemesis, Angela Vickers, is small-talking with her man “on the avenue.” Toward the second half, the song slows down, then slowly builds up again, creating tension and truly tells a story of the message the New Zealander native has in mind. She pleads, “I wanna settle down, / Baby there’s no need to run, / I’ll love you well.” Despite the sad story line of an unrequited love, the simple piano and rapid beat make you want to get up and dance around.
The only song on this album I wasn’t pleased with was “Posse.” The lyrics reveal bitterness over a friendship ending poorly. Evidence lies in the opening lyrics, “I don’t wanna be in your posse girl, / I don’t wanna be all caught up in your social scene.” This is also the longest song on the album at a whopping five minutes. I listened to it once and never again. I will definitely be skipping over this one in the future. Sorry, Kimbra.
Even though there was only one track that didn’t leave a good impression on me, I still would recommend Kimbra to my friends, family and complete strangers.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5