49 Above, Albums, Music, Reviews, Showcase, Spotlight — October 6, 2014 at 8:15 am

Review: Kinnie Starr’s “Far from Away”

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kinnie1

I fell in love with Kinnie Starr at a gig in Montreal when she was touring for then-new album Sun Again (2003 or so). It’s rare that I get so into a show that I start moving like a maniac (and I cannot dance, folks, I really can’t) and lose myself in it. I bought the record and played the hell out of it for a year or so. Here we are, 11 years later (and a few other albums have passed in that time), and Kinnie’s new album From Far Away showed up in my mailbox.

Still a vibrant, intense, talented singer and performer, she is an artist who doesn’t fit into any record store bin…she’s hip hop, folk, rock, spoken-word, indie, etc. all wrapped into one package. She sings and speaks in multiple languages, and in this case plays multiple instruments (she performed every note on the album, and produced it too). The songs are as hard to describe as the artist itself. Album opener Touch The Sky has a slow acoustic dirge, while enviro-message track Save Our Waters leans more towards the hip-hop side of life.

Kinnie is still inspired and honest as all hell, but I can’t help but feel that this album sounds a lot like previous albums. All artists have a sound, and I get that. This mix of genres and styles is her thing, and it works here quite well as usual. However, I’m not hearing anything too new on this album that differentiates it from previous outings. The one exception for me is “I Don’t Love You”, which is ragged and heavy, with double-tracked vocals successfully displaying levels of despair. It’s a powerful song.

The rest of the album is good for sure, and new fans will be impressed with the quality of songs. Older fans may find this to be more of the same.

 

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