Sunday, August 26, 2007

Nine Lives - Kat De Luna

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I cannot pretend that first hearing of an artist when they provide a soundtrack song for WWE Summerslam fills one with confidence. Although lets face it, it was something of a thrill to hear a song on WWE tv that wasn't your usual pop-rock-metal nonsense.

Kat De Luna is a native of the Bronx, and offers up an eclectic blend of pop, reggae, dance hall, hip-hop, merengue, R&B and bachata in her debut album, 9 Lives. Well that's what the press blurb says anywhere.

So needless to say, if the idea of Rhianna or Beyonce totally detests you then you might as well look away now. But if, like me, you appreciate that those two have done some cracking pop tunes (in amongst, I would be the first to admit, the dross) then you might at least want to check out the best cuts on this album.

There's nothing particularly subtle anywhere on the album with the emphasis placed firmly on fun pop tunes. And there are tunes to enjoy in this vein. In The End is a funky pop tune, mixing an addictive guitar motif with a euro-disco beat to surprisingly good effect and Animal sounds like Shakira at her most mental...which is a good thing.

The real surprise is just how adept Kat De Luna is at balladry (which, lets face it, is where pop usually goes tits up nine (ahem) times out of ten. Love Me, Leave Me may well sound similar to Rhianna's Unfaithful but is both more restrained, moving and utterly adorable.

Sure most of the rest of the album passes by in an unmemorable, albeit jolly, mode, but the odd moment of brilliance ensures this isn't a complete waste of time. Not one to buy then, but one to keep an ear out for.

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