Her second long-play set after an independently issued debut of 2008, ‘Sound Of A Woman’ is going to throw a fair few fans attracted to its Canadian maker courtesy of her breakthrough hit ‘Hideaway’ and its similarly energetic follow-up singles, ‘Giant In My Heart’ and ‘No Enemiesz’.
Those songs are here, sure enough – although the album’s opening version of ‘Hideaway’ feels somehow muted without its breathless video (watch it below), with which Kiesza stamped her dance credentials all over 2014’s pop scene. But what accompanies them is a varied mix, surprisingly mostly helmed by a single producer, Rami Samir Afuni (perhaps taking a leaf out of Lorde’s book, there), which encompasses deep-grooved R&B on ‘Losin’ My Mind’, disco-diva balladry on ‘The Love’ and a piano torch song with closer ‘Cut Me Loose’.
At times the schmaltz is definitely laid on a little too thick, but on cuts like the seductive midnight thump of ‘So Deep’ and the Joey Bada$$-featuring ‘Bad Thing’, Kiesza stretches her creative muscles without compromising the integrity of the overall experience. Which, for the most part, is a highly enjoyable pop album that steps up to the challenge of rivalling the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga and, while it can’t out-swagger the former’s eponymous set, it certainly backflips across the confused concoction of ‘ARTPOP’.
The ‘Hideaway’ lovers mightn’t get their kicks from everything contained on ‘Sound Of A Woman’, and it’ll definitely prove a little too keen on mid-1990s house beats for younger ears, but it’s a sure-footed statement of intent from a top newcomer amongst 2014’s pop crowd who, on this evidence, is going to contend for further number ones in the coming years. As the sound of Kiesza, she can consider this a job pretty splendidly done.
Words: Mike Diver
– – –
– – –