Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Kimura Kaela +1

Kimura Kaela's fourth new album, "+1", has been released today and it's a beauty. I like it very much and I think it's better than her last album, "Scratch".

She has made the complete transformation from pop/rock songstress to more dance oriented material. As a result, this album is much more harder driving, darker (as illustrated by the cover... screws?) and less eclectic than her last endeavours. The opening song, "NO IMAGE", is a true departure for Kaela. It's made good on the promise of her last, pre album, single, "Jasper" as a techno/rave type rocker. "Jasper" follows immediately, continuing the techno theme, and then into "Yellow"; a hard, alternative rocker. Another new song then follows, "STARs". This song is also her current single. It has a great hook and a fun singalong chorus.

The rest of the album flows along quite smoothly; much more smoothly than "Scratch". You might think I'm not a fan of that album, but you'd be wrong. It's just that "Scratch" is a little too experimental and quirky. Then again, "+1" doesn't have anything as instantly catchy as "L. Drunk" or "Ground Control". A matter of taste, I guess.

There're a few things that are a little distressing about "+1", however. The placing of "NO IMAGE" and "Jasper" back to back is a little jarring. I think "Jasper" would've served itself better towards the end of the album. "Yellow" feels better following "NO IMAGE" as well.

I can't understand why Kaela's B-Side cover of Farrah's "No Reason Why" would get album status, while "Honey B", a B-side that actually was quite popular was left off. I'm not saying this because "No Reason Why" is in English, while "Honey B" is mostly in Japanese, like some critics are saying. It's just that "Honey B" would've felt better in context of the album.

Speaking of context... The last song, "Humpty Dumpty" is extremely puzzling to me. The song, a sort of ballad, just doesn't jibe at all with the rest of the material on the album. Strange.

So, it sounds like I'm disliking this album, but I'm not. It's her strongest album since "Circle" and the songs that do click (90%), click hard.

So, here's to Kaela! Congrats on another album well done!

(You can get your copy at for a more than fair price!)

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