Kahimi Karie – Trapeziste

Victor VICL-61070
2003.02.21
I never thought I’d like another Kahimi Karie album again
after the truly awful triple whammy of Once Upon a Time, Journey to the Center of Me, and Tilt, all of which together contained maybe about one decent song. The music was sonically dull, and Kahimi was way up beyond her already whisper thin range. This wasn’t singing, this was asphyxiating. So what a surprise that Trapeziste is full of great grooves and a reformed chanteuse who talks and sing-songs her way through songs. Best of all, she often drops out of the song altogether and lets the rhythms do their thing—this album features some lovely arrangements. Kahimi even sings the Habanera from Carmen and doesn’t sound out of her range or depth (though a native Frenchman would be able to tell me if her French has improved at all). Momus is, I think, nowhere to be seen this time, but the producing is done by Tomoki Kanda (Chocolat, etc.) and Koki Tokai from Ah! Folly Jet, a very eclectic mix of dub electronics and jazz (free, bebop, and some faux-Django). Some sounds live, but that could just be sound effects. Could it be that her fellow countrymen understand her better than her international suitors? (Which reminds me: I haven’t heard the previous “My Suitor,” which could either be worse or better.)

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