- Summary: The second full-length release for the New Zealand-born singer-songwriter was produced by Rich Costey.
- Record Label: Warner Bros.
- Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
- More Details and Credits »
|I'm rising up Sometimes I want to get away And from the moment I met you I'm ready to fade I ran into a brighter day Like a castaway, sometimes I...||See the rest of the song lyrics|
MagnetAug 18, 2014She brings the art school to the dance floor in non-corny ways. [No. 112, p.57]
Positive: 13 out of 13
Mixed: 0 out of 13
Negative: 0 out of 13
Aug 19, 2014“The Golden Echo” really works as a whole, most notably because of the segues that lead the end of one song into the start of an other. This“The Golden Echo” really works as a whole, most notably because of the segues that lead the end of one song into the start of an other. This helps seal each song together as a package and narrative ride, rather than a sequence of songs that play after each other. This includes giggling children, a spiraling haze fading into chanting and pickaxes, strings rising before a broken record skips, a laughing frenzy swirls down before abruptly stopping at a clap, and a fuzzy piano softly playing out. The use of segues was somewhat present on “Vows” (siren sings atop acapella horns after “Old Flame” and “Posse” ends with a remixed “Settle Down”), but on “The Golden Echo” so much more consideration and time was spent making these songs seamlessly blend into one long experience.
As for the guest spots from collaborators (a list that goes on and on), it never feels like a group party. Kimbra is ever in the front seat wearing the conductor’s hat, and everything about these songs centres around her voice, lyrics, and artistic vision without distraction.
This record is a bit of a departure from “Vows”. It abandons the jazz influences and really amps up the R&B and Electronic ones, with more emphasis on rhythm. This isn’t to say this is a throwback retro album, Kimbra isn’t weighed down or washed out by her influences. “The Golden Echo” is a look back to the past that is then filtered, redesigned, and experimented with until it becomes something completely of Kimbra’s own. It’s a shame that the joint tour with future funk partner in crime Janelle Monae was cancelled seeing as their music would resonate so well together.
Most songs include vocal processing of some form or another (via her Voice Live Touch), resulting in deep bass, robotic harmonies, and gritty textures. Vocal layering is utilized quite frequently to create large choral explosions (building on this from ”Vows” tracks like “Sally I Can See You”, and “Home”).
The record starts with the pitter-patter of drums overtop glowing organs on “Teen Heat”. Kimbra whispering almost as if this is a lullaby, displaying a great sense of innocence and intimacy before the Prince-like chorus explodes into a grand euphoric “I don’t want to die without knowing what it’s like to touch you”. This innocence moves into reflection on the nostalgia of youth and love in the chaotic frenzy of “90’s Music”, which incorporates trap beats and 808’s underneath high-pitched vocal harmonies and scratchy guitars preceding a throbbing synth chorus. “Carolina” is a shiny stunner; with spiraling synths cascading across bass vocal hums under swooning high vocals, and processed layered harmonies. “Goldmine” flaunts a pickaxe beat and chanting that would feel at home on Kanye West album, with a chorus reminiscent of chanting slaves gleaning for inner hope. Alien like vocals perform a “horn section” impression on the bridge of groovy future funk disco track “Miracle”. “Rescue Him” showcases a darker R&B vibe with Kimbra whispering of saving her lover from his ways. A cascading bass groove underlines schizophrenic vocals on “Madhouse” continuing the darker vibe and harkens 80’s era Michael Jackson. “Everlovin’ Ya” featuring Bilal is a trippy, gritty, electro duet. “As You Are” is an absolutely stunning piano ballad that builds with lush strings (courtesy of Van Dyke Parks) and vocal arrangements, until the climax “Come, a little to the right, get comfortable,” which simultaneously sounds inviting and disconcerting. There is almost a comfort to the danger. On “Love In High Places” Kimbra’s voice waves and flutters over jittering percussion and glowing synths before building into an explosive vocal climax, followed by insane psychedelic bass guitar wailing (courtesy of virtuoso bassist extraordinaire Thundercat). “Nobody But You” is a sunny, feel good love song, before ending with a clapping future funk jam. Closer “Waltz Me To The Grave” is slightly psychedelic, yet slightly groovy, and parts with the world (and the album) on high note, swaying and dancing off the earth being left behind without remorse or dread.
The deluxe edition bonus tracks feature the stuttering beat and staccato vocals of “Slum Love” before a breezy chorus. Absolute gem “Sugar Lies” plays out like a whacked song for an old school Disney movie (perfect for Alice and Wonderland), sweet sing-a-long back up vocals and whistling are juxtaposed with booming bass synths before completely falling apart for the delirious acapella breakdown of the bridge. And the dizzy swirling “The Magic Hour” teeters back and forth in a sense of introspective surreality, harkening the title.
“The Golden Echo” is the work of an artist who places exploration and experimentation first, while still keeping it grounded as pop music. The ambition is well executed, and while calling back the past, it’s echoed in a completely different and captivating way.… Expand
Aug 21, 2014Kimbra continues to surprise me. Stylistically she's she's phenomenal, and in terms of what she can do with her voice, well the possibilitiesKimbra continues to surprise me. Stylistically she's she's phenomenal, and in terms of what she can do with her voice, well the possibilities are endless there. I first heard her angelic mastery when she collaborated with Gotye on 'Somebody That I Used To Know' and since then Kimbra has established herself into one of the greatest young singers we have, and my personal favourite artist. The Golden Echo is something magical that everyone should give a listen to. I still prefer her first album 'Vows' because I find it slightly more eclectic, but her second album is nothing short than a masterpiece.… Expand
Aug 19, 2014This is a great album! Kimbra used some sounds inspired on 90s music and the best was that she did a song with this name, this one isThis is a great album! Kimbra used some sounds inspired on 90s music and the best was that she did a song with this name, this one is perfect! All the album has a great harmony and Kimbra's voice is so amazing.… Expand
Dec 9, 2014This album can make you feel surrounded by alien and cosmo-graphic images and sounds and get you paralyzed and marvelled by its eagerThis album can make you feel surrounded by alien and cosmo-graphic images and sounds and get you paralyzed and marvelled by its eager propulsion, or it can make you feel exhausted and dizzy while feeling crazy and confused. Well, both sensations are correct. This album is intense, diverse, full of energy; a bit long, but really charismatic and happy. Kimbra is a fantastic artist, but she should learn how to control her excitement a bit. Nonetheless, the art work is almost remarkable.… Expand
Apr 23, 2018let me start my review by saying that Kimbra is one of the most misunderstood, underrated pop musicians of our time. point blank.
Vows, herlet me start my review by saying that Kimbra is one of the most misunderstood, underrated pop musicians of our time. point blank.
Vows, her debut album, is a pop near-masterpiece, and she becomes truly ahead of her time with The Golden Echo. this monster of a record starts with Teen Heat, a cute and subtle trip hop composition that brings an immediate warmth foreshadowing the next 72 or so minutes. it only gets better and better as the New Zealand native shows her impressive range and innovative production prowess with standouts such as 90s Music, Carolina and Rescue Him. in fact, Goldmine through Madhouse is one of the rare examples in pop music of a flaw-free sequence of more than 3 songs, exhibiting vigorously catchy choruses with ridiculously clean and striking instrumentals. Madhouse in particular is a towering beast of a track, with its fiery funk bass and sharp lyrics. it is straight-up Prince and Bad-era Michael Jackson worthy. seriously. it's hopeful, a bit intimidating and filled with clever lyrical dissonances, a faultless pop song.
one of the most prevalent pop album tropes is the power ballad, and of course we have just another example of Kimbra's remarkable voice. As You Are, track 9, is one of the most chilling, radiant examples of this this century. **** let me just be blunt and say that every goddamn time As You Are starts, I get immeasurable goosebumps. every single time. it's insane. pop contemporaries such as Adele and Banks (while good artists in their own respect) wish they could write an epic tearjerker in the vein of As You Are.
this album gets a 9/10 from me, as some tracks overstay their welcome in terms of length. despite that setback, this is a wonderful album… Expand
Jul 14, 2017'The Golden Echo' is a dense artpop record, the sound of the record might not be completely detailed but the lyrics, Kimbra's voice and most'The Golden Echo' is a dense artpop record, the sound of the record might not be completely detailed but the lyrics, Kimbra's voice and most of the instrumentation feels chaotic in a beautiful way, it's not a record that you could listen easily (for pop standards) but it's a rewarding one, Kimbra unleashes the potential the showed in 'Vows' with an immense throwback that feels as if Prince and The Dreaming-era Kate Bush made something together, from the weirdo 90s music to the cathartic Waltz Me to the Grave, this album goes from A to Z in the weirdness scope, if the record was a painting it would be a funky-Dalí-like painting.… Expand
Oct 13, 2014Kimbra's sophomore LP The Golden Echo is just as the title describes; an album that mirrors the best sounds of the past, from 70's funk toKimbra's sophomore LP The Golden Echo is just as the title describes; an album that mirrors the best sounds of the past, from 70's funk to 80's pop, while also adding a quirky and golden overtone that improves over the scattershot Vows.… Expand
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