Kiesza: The Sound of a Woman

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Posted November 12, 2014 by in Electronica
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Rating

Overall
 
 
 
 
 

3.5/ 5

Details

Genre: , , ,
 
Producer: , ,
 
Label:
 
 
 
 
Genre: Dance-pop, R&B. pop, electronica
 
Producer: Rami Samir Afuni, Jordan Orvosh, Simen & Espen
 
Label: Island
 
Format: Digital download, compact disc
 
Time: 50:21
 
Release Date: 21 October 2014
 
Spin This: "Hideaway," "Losin' My Mind," "Cut Me Loose"
 

Pros:

The album opens with the perfect opener ("Hideaway"). Proves to be a perfect chameleon; unafraid of playing with genres
 

Cons:

Ballads bearing similiar patterns tend to overtake much of the album's space
 

Major LP release puts pop-seasoned singer in a world of dreamy R&B, hip-hop and trendy electro-dance

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Major LP release puts pop-seasoned singer in a world of dreamy R&B, hip-hop and trendy electro-dance

Kiesza, a Canadian singer and Norweigan native, sounds nothing like she looks. The funny name (pronounced kye-zay) may give off instant Ke$ha comparisons, but she hardly sounds like a pop prop.  On her first national release Sound of a Woman, the 25-year old singer and songwriter digs into a delectable dish of hip-hop, electronica and trance-like r&b. The disc sounds like Jessie Ware iced in a clubland dominated by throwback club beats and Drake slow jams.  She sounds victorious from the start with the pulsating “Hideaway,” where Rami Samir Afuni’s production plays with the bustling fibers of the ‘90’s dance scene. “Baby, I love the way that there’s nothing sure,” Kiesza sings using an aggression that sounds like a CeCe Peniston understudy. “No Enemiesz” sounds like a smart reprise, climaxing exactly when she belts out the chorus (“If we could all fall in love together/We’d have no enemies”).

Two songs en route, she shifts from the dance floor into a dimmed boudoir dominated by organic hip-hop and sexy ballads. This is where Kiesza appears most interesting, even if the tunes seem to be a bit occupied in laying out its grooves. The Mick Jenkins-guested “Losin’ My Mind” drops like a Bronx street track seasoned with Mary J. Blige attitude. “Bad Thing,” featuring Joey Bad A$$, echoes those urban vibrations. Then she pulls out slick foreplay and creamy soundscapes on “So Deep”, “Piano” and the title track. Her piano-heavy slow tempo cover of Haddaway’s “What Is Love” is ambitious in theory and puts a singer-songwriter approach on it. She stays the course on the album closer “Cut Me Loose,” where she cozies into the piano trance created by co-writer Jordan Orvosh.

In between the love fest, Kiesza satisfies the club throwback hunger with “The Love” and the So So Def Bass All Stars-sounding “Vietnam.” It’s enough to stave off the idea that she is being groomed in a Sade-esque marinade. Still, Kiesza is quite comfortable being a balladeer. It’s not a bad thing on her; she has a voice that doesn’t need to always rely on the conventions of the dance floor. That is probably what most sets her apart from young dance-pop divas and her contemporaries. She doesn’t need to lean on EDM magic totally to make a delicate album.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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