Album Reviews

Kaki King – Dreaming Of Revenge

(Cooking Vinyl) UK release date: 30 June 2008

This is the fourth album from Kaki King (who does have a name that for reason reminds me of the most hideous scat porn movie I’ve ever accidentally seen), and it could well be the one that gains her a wider recognition.

She’s been busy of late, contributing guitars to the latest Foo Fighters album, receiving a golden globe nomination for her work on the Into The Wild soundtrack, appearing as a hand double in a movie, and seemingly just appearing everywhere.

All these jobs are for someone else of course, it’s much nicer to be recognised in your own right. After all nobody’s ever going to go to the cinema and think to themselves “wait a minute, I recognise those hands!”

So here we are then with Dreaming of Revenge, a thoroughly accomplished work indeed and one which skips merrily through several gears without really ever disturbing the listener too much. It’s far too lovely to even tie down to a genre, suffice to say that this album swells with an undulating beauty that manages to find itself undulating between the camps of folk, post-rock and shoegaze without ever really settling down.

The likes of the instrumental Open Mouth tug at you gently with beautifully played strings, but Kaki can’t quite help herself and drops a little bit of atonal mischief into proceedings just to keep things sounding slightly skewed at times.

So Much For So Little swirls by like a fluffy pink cloud hiding a thunderstorm. On the surface things just drift along nicely, but there’s a scuttling drumbeat that threatens to tear things to shreds in a rocked out jazz frenzy. It never happens obviously, but the threat of it is enough to keep things interesting.

Elsewhere, Kaki exercises her vocal talents, and you will be unsurprised to learn that not only is she an inspired songwriter and instrumentalist, but she has a wonderfully understated croon as well. In your heart you wish she was singing in French, because somehow that would just make perfect sense. Still, you can’t have everything.

Having been revered as something of a guitar-goddess for a number of years, Dreaming of Revenge is something of a departure with more poppy fare than usual. Pull Me Out Alive will undoubtedly ruffle the feathers of those more interested in her acoustic guitar technique (quite often it’s heavily detuned and played like a slap bass incidentally) but for those of us who just prefer a good tune and a stunning voice; it�s a wonderful slice of indie pop.

There is much to admire here the more you listen, the more it will grow on you. It’s nice to see a guitar prodigy make an album that isn’t a complete bag of tosh. If only Yngwie Malmsteen or Steve Vai could say the same thing.

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Kaki King – Dreaming Of Revenge