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CD REVIEW: Kiva - Pulse
By Steve Allat - 02/21/2005 - 02:44 AM EST

Artist: Kiva
Album: Pulse
CD Review: Label: Independent
Tracks: 10
Released: 2004
For Fans Of: Jane Sibbery, Sting, Enya, Bobby McFerrin, Janubia (see reviews)
Fav Tracks: Sanctuary, Morning Dew Ragu, In The Flesh.

Harmonic Overtoning. In case you haven't heard of it, it is the ability to sing in two pitches at once. Kiva does this, as well as a great deal of general vocalizing - vocal expressions of emotion & lyric, sometimes called vocables.

With these skills, she sets about writing songs that incorporate her unique voice and vision of entertaining world music. What she comes up with is very interesting, especially when her vocals serve the music or become the music that serves the song. Her style ranges from (approaching) new age to light jazz and easy listening, with world influences including Latin, African, East Indian, Caribbean, and even a little Klezmer!

Generally, the songs are short & sweet, leaving each with it's special vibe and not overdoing it. Although her voice is very interesting and entertaining, I dare say too much of anything isn't always desired and Kiva wisely knows how and when to use her impressive range.

Only 4 songs contain lyrics, the rest are vocalizations, and I think I heard Kermit the Frog make a brief appearance on 'In The Flesh'! I don't know if laughter is a desired result, but Kiva should take heart to know I was smiling with her all the way.
Those songs with lyrics speak of life and letting it be what it will - pretty safe and not really a focal point for me. The vocable tracks still strive to contain hooks and patterns, which are well thought out and add the interest that most traditional 'catchy' songs do.
Musically there is percussion throughout, but Kiva's voice really does create the pulse of each track, blending with the tabla or other percussive instrument being used.

Overall, Kiva creates music that is very light and easy to listen to, emanating from a voice that projects everything from sound and tone to melody and intrumentation all on it's own. A unique brand of sound for sure.

Contact: Kiva | Mgmt/Booking: Marilyn Gilbert Management
Website: Kiva - Throat Singing

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