Kimbra | A Reckoning Review
by Bea Willis
Kimbra has returned with her fourth studio album called A Reckoning. The two-time Grammy-award-winning vocalist presents a reflective record, capturing her thoughts and emotions about our world around the environment, health, race, spirituality, and feminism. Kimbra found influence in everything from modern movie soundtracks to electro-industrial pop. The album was first imagined in 2018, during Kimbra’s tour with co-producer Ryan Lott of the band Son Lux, who recently scored A24’s Everything Everywhere All At Once.
“The Way We Were” has a bouncy electro-pop beat with Kimbra’s soft vocals in the background. The verse comes in strong as the backing vocals continue adding comments and colors. The pre-chorus lifts as Kimbra moves to her mid-upper register. The chorus is catchy. The second verse has some jumbled lyrics that do not flow as naturally as most in her songwriting style. Kimbra works with Ryan Lott to create the songs on the album, and though creative, there is a focus and consistency issue.
“foolish thinking” is a tender moment, with Kimbra’s sensual angelic voice delivering an emotional melody. Unfortunately, some of the electronic sounds and placements do not fit the beauty and emotion of the piece. However, the strings are a wonderful touch. Lott sings the second verse, which gives a nice sonic change, and the two have lovely vocal harmonies.
A Reckoning has many moods, and Kimbra’s singing is as gorgeous as ever. However, many sounds and production decisions take away from the flow of the individual songs and the project as a whole. Kimbra’s split from Warner Brothers opened up her creative gates. Still, more consistency and attention to detail in the mix, instruments, sounds, and songwriting development would have put this project in a much better position for mass appeal.
Release Date: January 27, 2023
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