Kimbra's album soars on US debut

Last updated 09:38 23/05/2012
Lyle McMahon

Kiwi singer Kimbra is excited about the release of her new album.

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WORLD BEATER: Kimbra has what it takes to make it big.

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Hamilton singer Kimbra's plans for US domination have started brilliantly, as she debuted at #3 on the American iTunes album chart and garnered glowing reviews.

The album, Vows, was also sitting at #19 on Amazon's hot new releases list.

The LA Times, along with the Washington Post, the Washington Times and Entertainment Weekly all sung the New Zealand songbird's praises as she sweeps through her first American tour.

Introduced to the US as the sidekick of Australian singer Gotye, on his single Somebody that I used to know, Kimbra is now being touted as a star in her own right - her record boss referring to her as ''the next Prince''.

The LA Times' August Brown wrote Kimbra had an "elastic, soulful voice".

"Sometimes she's self-consciously eccentric with her vocal tricks, but given her 1990s birthday, one can cut her slack for exploring how far she can push herself.

''Kimbra's American fame may have come on the heels of someone else's single, but there's a vision here that's entirely her own," he said.

He said people should "pity Kimbra, but just a bit", as she shot to fame on Gotye's track, but he said "that should all change with Vows... her international major-label debut that works like a more domesticated Bjiork effort.''

Allison Stewart, of the Washington Post, also compared Kimbra to Bjork, calling her a newer version of the Icelandic singer. She also drew comparisons to Nancy Sinatra.

"Kimbra's official debut, Vows, is snappy and smart, an often-great pop album with a knack for sounding more exotic than it is. 
''It shoehorns in a little bit of everything: Nancy Sinatra pop, show tunes, funk, kittenish light jazz and a respectable Nina Simone cover."

The Washington Times said Vows shed misconceptions placed on her through the success of Somebody that I used to know.

"At 22 years old, Kimbra is a full decade younger than Gotye. Her grasp on pop music is seriously rare, though, making her less of a fresh-faced newcomer and more of a grown-up child prodigy," wrote Andrew Leahey.

Entertainment Weekly's Kyle Anderson said "the New Zealand sprite's bewitching wail" had the ability to "shift effortlessly" between harmonies.

"Her earnestness on the breezy Two Way Street is disarming, though Something in the Way You Are proves she's also a pro at plumbing psychological depths. But even when she's playing mind games, she's still somebody you'll want to know," he said.

Vows was released in New Zealand and Australia last year, and in its first week it charted at #3 in New Zealand and #5 in Australia.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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