New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
This week's album entry in the Top40-Charts is another drop from Katie Boeck (pronounced Boke), who, early in February, released her single, OVER AGAIN. That single release is featured on her full album, CALICO - co-written/produced with Dustin
Ransom, which is being released this Friday 4/28. Having now listened to the entire journey that is CALICO, and hearing OVER AGAIN in context to that journey, we now feel even stronger about the haunting nature and message of Katie's music.
Starting your album of original songs about love with an instrumental piece is a bit of a bold move. Those who know Katie's work as a singer might not expect to hear the gentle bell tones in her guitar and haunting winds from the synth and no voice, but this is a true PRELUDE of things to come. OVER AGAIN - the review of which you have all already read... right my angels? Is the second cut but the first vocal on CALICO and as it kicks off this exploration of love it leaves one to wonder at its finality. The lyrics suggest that love has passed and we are wondering if, given all we know, would we do it again. The answer is yes we would, and so perhaps that is the starting line. Difficult to say really, but it's such a beautiful song one can just get lost in its measures until it drops you off at BEST KIND OF LOVE. The driving tempo in her guitar, with a tinkling sort of backup in the other instruments combined with Katie's pretty but distant-sounding vocals, reminds this writer of listening to music in the car all alone, driving fast down the road while the world is passing by. This is the forward motion of love maturing.
The relentless yearning in her soft, almost whispered vocal production throughout the album creates a kind of magnetism that is undeniable. Her voice is beautiful, no doubt, but the richness here is that of the sight of misty mountains. That longing comes through especially on SUBSIDE - another step along the road of love. What may not be apparent in the poetry of her lyrics is implicit in the effect of the whole song, notes, voice, words, etc. Our pain will subside and give way to peace of mind. The title tong - CALICO - is a more soft rock style and not as folk song-ish as the others. There's something for practically everyone in this song. It is, in fact, the closest to a danceable tune she's got and it might make a great Dance mix by a brilliant DJ as one can practically hear it and we were left wondering what this could be in the improvisational hands (& ears) of an Offer Nissim, The DJs From Mars, or Honey
Dijon. Her final cut, WHILE I'M STILL HUMAN, was the most intriguing to listen to for this writer and that is probably deliberate. This is the most direct into the mic and our ears sound from Karie - a more solid, less distant sound. Her strength has returned to her and things have been learned. There are no confusions anymore and now we can be together but without the BS. We will share the love in our hearts without illusions. "Come to me while I'm Still human", say the lyrics, and the power in her voice here moves us all forward. Until now Katie's vocal production has been that whispered, almost ethereal sound filled with pain, longing, love, light, dark... But now her full voice signals the end of the lost in the wilderness feeling and delivers us to the here and now painting in visible colors that have a meaning we can all capture.
In all my sweets, we stand by our review of Katie Boeck's OVER AGAIN (which you have all read... right?) and haunting is precisely the right descriptor for the entirety of CALICO. Though a little lacking in a true variety of calico colors since the sighing mysterious mummer throughout these strains over 10 out of 11 tracks might seem a bit much, we are certain that once you have heard all of CALICO and taken the journey Boeck has for you, that this will be an album that will feel right to have on in your home on many days of the year that you just want to chill and be you, and as such, we give the full album of CALICO a resounding ...