Formerly published in The Other Press. Oct. 10 2012
Kaki King’s new album
By Elliot Chan, Contributor
Considered by many as one of the best guitarists in the world, Kaki King confirms it with her sixth full-length album, Glow. Katherine Elizabeth King, a.k.a. Kaki King, returns to her roots with an instrumental collection that will be available on October 9. Displaying all her imaginative musical talent, Glow has the potency to transport listeners to other parts of the world, proving that even without lyrics, music remains a universal language.
With assistance from ETHEL, a string quartet based out of New York, Kaki King achieves a dynamic range, where one song can have a distinct feel of the Orient (“Bowen Island”) and another have a rich Irish sound (“King Pizel”). Some songs soundtrack the cacophonies of urban hustle and grind, while others evoke a tranquil imagery of somewhere far, far away. Very few artists are able to create settings the way King does.
In contrast to her 2010 album Junior, Glow lacks King’s vividly haunting vocals. Although her classical acoustic ability remains stunning, it is a shame that she did not contribute some of her poetic styling into her new works.
That is not to say she’s simplified her music though; on the contrary. Glow’s content is far more complex than any verse-and-chorus song around. But I am a sucker for lyrics; the added dimension of words is usually what makes a song memorable. Nevertheless, the album is King in her element; there is nothing she can’t do with six strings.
If busy students need a reason to explore new music, consider Glow to be a studying companion.
Kaki King will also be performing at the Rio Theatre next Tuesday, October 16. Tickets are only $20 at the door!