Kaki King was always that chick from August Rush, the one with the tiny hands but big…talent. Then I heard her album, Dreaming of Revenge, and my inner misogynist took leave. The album was good, really good and like many of her songs starkly brilliant. Her latest album, Junior , released via Rounder Records, brings not only her musicality and sound to another era but also her songwriting. Though at times it leaves a little to be desired, there are moments of MENSA-type brilliance on her new album.
“The Betrayer” is the song which I found to be the most immediate. Disguised behind the idea of espionage and spies in the Cold War, I found a metaphor for what relationships are like, with one person always changing while the other remains stagnant: “I’ve become someone else/Someone new.” King’s songwriting seems to have gotten more evocative, more sullen. On “My Nerves Have Committed Suicide,” the name immediately calls the attention but it is in the subtle melody and jilting lyrics that you hear the tone of this album. The musicianship here is phenomenal and truly what separates King apart from her contemporaries is her seamlessly easy ability to blend her musicianship and songwriting capabilities on an album.
I like to write down the first thing that comes to mind after listening to an album, the most honest and sincere impression; Haunting, stark and left me hanging on the proverbial edge.