Album – On High – Kate Maki

Posted by admin on March 11th, 2008

  • Band / Artist : Kate MakimySpace
  • Genre : Alternative / Folk
  • Sample Track Download : N/A
  • Buy CD : MapleMusic
  • Buy Digital Download : iTunes
  • Rating : 7.5 out of 10

Sometimes there’s a fine line between folk and country. Opening with “Highway”, the slide guitar is there and the familiar country musical drawl, which I thought was going to whoosh straight over my head. Then I heard the vocals, demure and almost afraid, breaking through. Breaking through is something I found the vocals having to do a lot of, as the music mix, was in places not favorable to the vocals, there’s still enough however to be latch onto and enjoy.

The forth track “White Noise” is for me the track where I finally fell into the groove. Gone are the slide guitars replace with a simple piano and guitar arrangement to compliment the vocals. This is an album that’s at times like riding on a see-saw, with ups and down. While “White Noise” is definitely a high point, the track the follows “To Please”, is a bit of a low point. It’s a nice sing along kind of track, but it’s just a little over the top with what sounds like a ukelele and the spoons. Nice on it’s own merits, but just doesn’t sit well on the album. The vocals too, are not as defined and strong as the rest of the album.

This is very much an album that can be pretty much divided into two halves, the country influenced slide guitar half and the acoustic half, which for me is the style I much prefer. “Beyond the Sun” and “We Are Gone” and prime examples of what I love about this album.

“Don’t Look Down” is a surprise track, as Kate shares vocals, with someone who sounds very much like Lou Reed, I just wish there were more opportunity on this 2 and a half minute track to hear the two voices bounce off each other more, instead of singing in near isolation. “On a String”, a wonderfully whimsical 1 minute instrumental track concludes an album which pretty much is a mixed bag for me. There is however much to enjoy.

Something I also noticed, is that while this is an 11 track album, the total running time is a tad under 28 minutes, the longest track being just shy of 4 minutes, while the shortest is the ever so short “On A String”, weighing in at 1 minute 11. For musical content this could almost be considered an EP.

Conclusion : Not my usual cup of tea. The musical style, is something that took me a little while to get used to, but it’s the vocals which really bring this album to life. Certainly an artists I’ll be keeping an eye on.

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