Child In Me

Katherine gave this album on 2011-11-05.

Kiyomi's LP Child Iin Me (sent to us by Mia Mind Music for evaluation) clearly comes from a place close to the heart of the artist, and uses the conventions of many different musical influences to carry the feeling behind the words to the listener. Kiyomi's composition and voice show the evidence of extensive education and training. J-pop, like its stateside sister, can be difficult to define, and at times invites images of idol groups for whom dancing and looking cute takes precedence over vocal talent and the ability to portray deep human emotion. Kiyomi lays any such worry aside with soulful tracks like "My Place" and "A Part of Me." These two carry a folk, almost country, easiness with a simple melody that sets a comfortable atmosphere in which to explore the aches and injuries that life and love can inflict. "A Part of Me" features a chorus that reminds me of The Bangles at their best.

My two favorite tracks on Child In Me were the loose-jointed waltzes "Flustered" and "Mysterious You". The music and lyrics working together to paint pictures of the bemusement and awkwardness that accompany love that is still young and new. I found myself singing along, even on the first listen. The off-beat delivery in "Flustered" evoked a chuckle from me because it felt so real. What also felt very honest were the maternal sentiments expressed in "One Day You'll Know". The hope and realism and the wonder work together almost like prayer for a beloved child - I found myself thinking about the children in my own life and my good wishes for the way they'll grow.

The stripped down instrumentation and dense harmonies of "Blue Eyes" gives clear voice to the jazz influences that are hinted at in the rest of the album. Rock flavors are sprinkled through "Child In Me" and "Why," but these were also the tracks that I felt were the weakest (perhaps at issue for me is more the arrangements by Tim Thorne). In "Child In Me" the poetry of the story broke awkwardly across the lines of music in ways that both diminished the effectiveness of the storytelling and made the music simplistic and jarring. The blues-y, broadway-y selection "What Do You Do?" offers a better showcase for Kiyomi's beautiful voice as does "Back to My Soul" with its Doo-Wop arrangement. "Little Girl Smiling" made me think of German Lieder pieces that I studied in vocal training that were so much fun to sing, but whose lyrics were about places of such deep pain; it is a fantastic way to highlight the difference between the outer and inner lives of the song's character.

This album has music that I'd want to have on during lazy afternoon, while reading or enjoying a warm beverage on a cold day. It's something I'd cook to, dancing in my kitchen, or sing along with while driving. It is pleasant accompaniment to life that, while it doesn't always go the way we'd like, can still be enjoyed.

TrackNameCarsonKatherine   TrackNameCarsonKatherine
1 Child In MeChild In Me - Child In Me 3 notes3 notes3 notes     7 Mysterious YouMysterious You - Child In Me 4.75 notes4.75 notes4.75 notes4.75 notes4.75 notes
2 Little Girl SmilingLittle Girl Smiling - Child In Me 4 notes4 notes4 notes4 notes     8 WhyWhy - Child In Me 3.25 notes3.25 notes3.25 notes3.25 notes
3 FlusteredFlustered - Child In Me 5 notes5 notes5 notes5 notes5 notes     9 Blue EyesBlue Eyes - Child In Me 3.5 notes3.5 notes3.5 notes3.5 notes
4 My PlaceMy Place - Child In Me 3.75 notes3.75 notes3.75 notes3.75 notes     10 What Do You Do?What Do You Do? - Child In Me 4 notes4 notes4 notes4 notes
5 A Part of MeA Part of Me - Child In Me 4.5 notes4.5 notes4.5 notes4.5 notes4.5 notes     11 Back To My SoulBack to My Soul - Child In Me 4 notes4 notes4 notes4 notes
6 And One Day You'll KnowAnd One Day You'll Know - Child In Me 4.5 notes4.5 notes4.5 notes4.5 notes4.5 notes     12 Child In Me RepriseChild In Me Reprise - Child In Me 3.75 notes3.75 notes3.75 notes3.75 notes

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Music Reviews: Album reviews covering a variety of genres.