Sound: This EP was produced after Kina won a competition in USC, where she was attending at the time. It's 6 songs (Blindly, Highlighted in Green, Next Time, Try, Another Day and People) feature acoustic and electric guitars, strings and percussion, each of them was written by Kina.
Kina's voice on this record was strong in most parts, although on occasion it sounded slightly nasal. This showed a lack of professionalism in the production of the album, I feel. This may, to some, be a downfall. I find that the lack of instruments and production make this effort a raw and honest record, that really does show true potential.
It is clear that this record is around the time when Kina was 'finding herself' as an artist, and she claims that it was in USC that she grew in confidence and started to take a career in music seriously. This shows on the EP as, at times, it lacks some substance. However, the lyrics and concepts of the songs are always well thought out and the quality is fairly consistent, although possibly not as strong as her more recent efforts. // 7
Lyrics: Kina, as usual, shows huge talent as a songwriter on this record. All of her lyrics are deep and filled with honest emotion. She writes from the heart and pours out real feelings in to the music, this helps to make up for the lack of catchy melodies on this record.
I feel that 'Highlighted in Green' was the stand out track, melody wise! It was driven, powerful and held a nice guitar solo too! I feel that this song would have been a good bench-mark for the albums sound. I would have liked to have heard more tracks like this on the record.
Each of the songs had a powerful message in them, and even with a lack of catchy melodies, Kina manages to hit a nerve. 'Another Day' is a touching story about the struggles of everyday life, that each of us can relate to in some way. This is one of Kina's huge strengths. Don't be expecting catchy 'pop' songs from this record; expect pure, honest, real, natural music, from a pure honest, real, natural singer. // 8
Overall Impression: I think the most important part of Kina's music is the message, maybe even more than the sound. For any true music fan, Kina's lyrics surpass the standards set by the majority of mainstream artists today. She has real talent, she doesn't need synthesising and auto-tuning to the high-heavens, and to many this may be her downfall....
Kina isn't the stereotypical 'popstar', she isn't commercial and she isn't going to 'sell-out' any time soon. She may not sell millions of albums or appear in the Top 10 (yet!)...but this record indicates a hell of alot of potential!
I would recommend this to anyone! But I would advise you to truly LISTEN to it, I don't mean sit with the sound being absorbed by your ear drums! I mean take it all in, listen to the lyrics, the message, the harmonies, everything! Kina's sound may take a bit of getting used to for ears that are used to the 'Ke$ha's' of today...but I would definitely give it a go.
I have all of Kina's albums and I will be looking out for any future efforts from this talented artist...and you should too! // 7