STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 109135-17911 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by David Faulkner
This is one of the most extraordinary and powerful CDs I have heard in a long time. Irish-born, now Yorkshire-based, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (nine instruments, if you're counting) Kayla Kavanagh has constructed a powerful debut album influenced by the fact that she suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. This condition afflicts two per cent of the UK population, and one tenth of sufferers commit suicide. Kavanagh writes and sings about love, about the coalescence of fear and prayer, even quoting George Matheson's classic hymn for the grieving, "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go" in one song. As someone who has pastored people with BPD, I found her artistic approach illuminating. Kavanagh has more depth and more hooks than any of the shallow X Factor gruel so often punped out by our mass media. The music on 'Stranger Than Fiction' itself varies from piano ballads to energetic pop with Kayla integrating styles that are more organic than Goldfrapp but more electronic than Sarah McLachlan. The one problem I had was with those tracks where the multi-tracked vocals had too much electronic processing for my liking, when I thought that rawer, more natural sounds would have been more powerful. But overall, this isn't simply a worthy release: it's stunning.
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