Kid North - New Waters
Released March 11, 2016
By Jordan Taylor
I found myself up late at night multiple times in the week trying to wrap my head around this review; unsure of whether it was from my own personal life, or from the uniqueness of walking into the deep end of Kid North's second studio album New Waters. Having not listened to their premier studio album, I came into this review with a completely blank slate, unaware of what to expect from the modern pop band based out of France. Needless to say, the group’s abilities impressed.
Armed with the “classic three” of bass, guitar, and drums, each member also contributes on vocals and keyboard. Many bands try this, only to have their performance turn into a clunky, multi-solo package deal. However, this is not the case for Kid North. They have some amazing harmony skills, able to turn every song into a well balanced mixture of all three band member’s unique contribution to the modern pop genre.
New Waters has some great synthy guitar riffs paired with eloquent high pitched vocals from each member balanced in perfect harmonic form. Their opening song, Gold, feels like a throwback to the early 90's (perhaps referencing the golden age of pop music) with its heavy sounding opening effect keyboards paving the way for a well transitioned guitar and lyrics. While Geometrical had more of an electronic underlying tone, Riptide is true modern pop. This was the case with most of the songs on the album, each containing a unique element that separated them from the rest.
Each song is so refreshing compared to the droves of today’s modern pop that all sound so similar. Almost trance-like, I’d find myself pulled under the album’s spell while listening (which I admit made it difficult to decipher multiple songs for my review all at once, as the melancholic rhythms took over my apartment). One song did fall out of place though, Spirals. Its pace was incredibly fast compared to the rest of the album and it stuck out in a negative way. It was too much in the context.
The back side of the album waned off, its strength was noticeably different compared to the beginning songs. Apart from Cheval Sauvage and the album flagship, New Waters the rest of the songs lacked a strong identity that I enjoyed so much from the songs at the beginning of the album.
Overall, this album was well done, overcoming a sound nightmare of three vocals and instruments is no easy feat. The balance is there, and their sound is superb, While I wish the album was stronger throughout the second half, I am left wanting more and look forward to their next instalment.