Monday, June 16, 2014

Monica Richards: Kindred

Monica Richards
Reviewed by Lisa Selvaggio
Rating: 5/5

I have to begin by saying that this review is pathetically long overdue, and I want to first apologize to Monica for that. Kindred is her third solo release and, yet again, she doesn't disappoint. The packaging is unique, complete with a 16-page book filled with inspiring lyrics, artwork, and photos in a DVD digipack. The booklet also contains "Spring," which is the story written for her graphic novel Anafae. What I personally really like about this album, though, is that it was written to honor all of the kindred animal spirits that have touched Monica's life. From frogs and bats to rain and thunder, Monica recorded animal sounds and elements from Nature to incorporate them impeccably into every song on the album, effectively turning them into music.

The album will suck you in immediately, and by the third track, "Fall," if you're anything like me, you'll get the urge to get up and dance along to the lyrics that tell you to "fight the Fall." There isn't a track I don't like, but some that stand out include "The Bird and the Snake," which was written with Strange Boutique bassist Steve Willett, and "Let You Go," which is beautiful in every single way and will have you in tears knowing that it was written for her beloved cat, Mina. Faith and The Muse fans will also enjoy the reincarnation of one of the band's most famous tracks, "Sparks."

"50 Euro Boy," with its many layers, is one of my favorites. But the most adorable element of the album is when Penelope the cat makes her musical debut on "Penelope" and, I must say, she is quite good on those keys--must be a result of all that time spent with Monica!

As with all of Monica's other solo work, this album proves what a versatile artist she is. She is able to take recordings of the natural world and seamlessly fuse them with a dynamic musical landscape (case in point: "Speak"). With a combination of electronic and tribal elements and, of course, her signature voice, if you've enjoyed Monica's previous work, you must pick up Kindred as well. I highly recommend taking the time out to listen to each track as you look through the booklet and read the lyrics.  

To purchase Monica Richards' music, click here.

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