Kirsty Almeida - Pure Blue Green

Certainly eccentric, but fundamentally it stands out due to its creativity and maturity.

A quick glance over articles one can find about Kirsty Almeida would prepare a listener for the sort of experience you’d get from Paloma Faith, Amy Winehouse or even Norah Jones. Be advised, such comparisons are ill-informed, wide of the mark and frankly, quite insulting to Almeida. Her EP ‘Spider’ also gave no insight into the sort of album that we now come to discuss. As a side note, some people would call four tracks, two of which are remixes of the first track, a pretty crap EP. But let’s not kick this review off on the wrong foot.

Going into the album, one quickly becomes accustomed to a wide variety of musical instruments, changes of lyrical tone and shifting melodies. ‘Late At Night’ features some absolutely joyous piano work that nudges the track forward in a cheerful and whimsical way. Later, as the album shows signs of slumping, a delightfully unexpected steel drum solo kicks in halfway through the nearly pedestrian ‘Shine All Your Light’. Important to note is that the huge ensemble of instruments used feels natural to each song, as opposed to gimmicky or pretentious.

Shortly thereafter, a rousing ‘Couldn’t You Just’ picks you up by your collar and drags you back to your feet, sounding something like BC Camplight if he was high on happy pills. It should also be noted that this lapse in quality is only momentary, the album ranging from sultry vocals paired with an almost ho’down beat in ‘If You Can’t Make Me Happy’ to the gentle vulnerability of ‘Cool Down, Rewind’.

It would be easy to analyse every track on this album because they’re all rather good in their own way. Every one contributes something of its own to the experience, which is refreshingly rare to find in an album that comes in at just under an hour. The changes of pace are well thought out and the tracks are certainly well-ordered, ‘Scares Me’ being a dalliance with darkness that is bracketed refreshingly by lighter numbers. Ordinarily, repeating the first full-length track at the end as a ‘Slow Version’ could come across as pretentious or tedious. However, the listener is treated to a spectacular u-turn in atmosphere, the finale of the album exhibiting a sensuously ethereal vocal to rival Beth Gibbons.

This album is certainly eccentric, but fundamentally it stands out due to its creativity and maturity. In this respect, Almeida provides us with the whole package, presenting a collection of tunes that work equally well as individuals as they do when bound together as an album. Blue Green’ is thoughtful and expansive, offering something for every taste, and for some people it will offer everything. Kirsty Almeida manages to form a persona infinitely more interesting than artists to whom she has been compared, and one can’t help but be envious of those with tickets to see her festival dates over the summer.

Tags: Kirsty Almeida, Reviews, Album Reviews

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