Monday, January 7, 2013
Naama Kates' Unexamined Life
Ok, most of you know my feelings toward singer songwriters, folkies, acoustic musicians and the like; I can't stand them. So the prospects for Naama Kates wasn't good. Then I listened to her album The Unexamined Life and boy was I pleasantly surprised. Wow, was I. Let me just say that this isn't you're typical singer songwriter album. In fact, I'm not sure it's even fair to consider it something like that at all.
What The Unexamined Life is , however, is a theatrical, emotional, and gut wrenching album that has more in common with Amanda Palmer than Joni Mitchell. Using a piano and what seemingly sounds like an orchestra backing her up she out Tori Amos, Tori Amos and creates this complex, lyrical, and musically rich tapestry of tunes that simply aren't boring. This is lush stuff that's sweeping and breathtaking and on top of it all sounds like a million bucks. It's good stuff and while her voice might not be as polished as some of her contemporaries the whole environment she creates here more than elevates her and her voice.
I'm not ashamed to say I actually enjoyed The Unexamined Life. Naama Kates is a capable musician who constructs fascinating passages and songs that are slightly dark but always striking. She's a thrilling artist to listen to simply because she's sort of carving out her own niche in a sea of cliches. She might be living The Unexamined Life right now but with a record like this she won't be able to for very long.