- Suzanne Neilson
- 18 July 2012
Kiwi Kimbra Johnson's debut is a beautiful mess
Recognisable from her cameo on Gotye’s hit ‘Somebody that I used to Know’, native Kiwi Kimbra Johnson’s debut showcases her sweet jazz voice with songs covering candy-coloured pop and 90s-inspired jazz (not as bad as it sounds). Opening track ‘Settle Down’ builds up vocal layerings of sinister lyrics, ‘I want to settle down, it’s time to bring you down’ to a Disney-like chorus, while ‘Cameo Lover’ punches with a candyfloss fist.
The overall tone is all over the place; 80s synths, seedy 30s gin joints and Jeff Buckley inspired acapella. But it’s a beautiful mess. Kimbra commits herself to every note and embodies the character of each song. Even a weaker track, ‘Call Me’ is infectious from the feet up.