Kimbra – Vows

written by: November 9, 2011
Release Date: September 2nd, 2011


Kimbra is one of the few of her time to attempt an experimental jazz-pop sound and achieve success. Most contemporary efforts are disconnected and clashy. Here, she manages to find some middle ground where she’s just weird enough to be socially accepted but also original enough to stand out from other females in her field. Watch out for this woman because she’s just waiting to become big.

Kimbra is young and full of life. Let’s hope she stays around for a while. Her sound with the new Vows is much like Florence + the Machine, but even that comparison doesn’t do her justice. She’s truly one of a kind.

When she touches down onto the track, it’s a storm of bold action in an instant. “Settle Down” immediately represents Kimbra’s edgy style with a clapping sound, tambourines and fascinating vocal combinations both in the foreground and background. The rhythm doesn’t stall on its way to “Cameo Lover,” either. A twinkly charm adds warmth to the quick, fierce beats brought here by the young talent.

Expect to plead guilty when you find yourself buying three more pairs of shoes at Aldo just because this song was brainwashing you with its sexiness through the store’s speakers.

After the lyrical depth of “Two Way Street,” the mood is darkened significantly. It’s gradual but also highly noticeable. The beats slow and the sass is amped. The R&B emotion is totally embraced just as her indie-pop, if not deemed as second best.

Whatever Kimbra’s going for, she claims as her own. All is achieved that has been attempted, and we’ll take it.

“Good Intent” is old-fashioned and mysterious. The playful rhythm is imaginative and innovative, but this is the only flavor of its kind on the album. Why isn’t there more of it? It’s a shame because from here until the end, as the pounding dwindles, the songs all start to blend together.

If you miss Amy Winehouse and you’re sick of Janelle Monae, this is your artist. Kimbra brings it. Her New Zealand swagger is fearless and soulful. The energy she brings is incredibly positive. She’s spreading love and gathering inspiration from greatly infectious resources.

The metamorphasis of character Kimbra undergoes along Vows is something exciting to watch. It’s fun to listen to her evolve from innocent, lightweight songstress to passionate, soulful woman in a matter of minutes. Beats smooth themselves from quick and fast to slow and sexy from start to finish, and it ensures that there’s never a dull moment in the whole process.

Although the power remains strong throughout, this woman should remember that her greatest highs happen only in her most upbeat moments. When Vows slows down, such as during “Limbo” or “Withdraw,” Kimbra still delivers sultry steam. But comparing it with her fiery start, these all sound like they’re fizzled.

With the strength of a musical newborn, there’s also the inevitable vulnerability. Kimbra throws her all onto these tracks, and it’s overwhelming to realize how much she put onto the table. Can she ever top herself, making an exciting debut such as Vows? She’s going to have to out-do herself for any sort of follow-up. But for now, she’s on the right track.

Kimbra – Vows tracklist:

  1. “Settle Down”
  2. “Cameo Lover”
  3. “Two Way Street”
  4. “Old Flame”
  5. “Good Intent”
  6. “Plain Gold Ring”
  7. “Call Me”
  8. “Limbo”
  9. “Wandering Limbs”
  10. “Withdraw”
  11. “The Build Up”