CD REVIEW: Amanda Kind - Hello Heartache
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: Amanda Kind
CD: Hello Heartache
Label: Dame Face Records
Genre: Pop, Singer Songwriter, Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: Pat Benatar, Bangles, Quarterflash, Berlin, Belinda Carlyle
Technical Grade: 9/10
Weakness: Hot Vocal Mix, More Solos Please
After spending her teenage years obsessed with Green Day and Mariah Carey, Amanda Kind left her home sweet home of White Rock, British Columbia to pursue her music career in the big apple. After performing across Canada as well as parts of the US and Europe, she finally settled in Waterloo, Ontario. Her efforts in the Waterloo Region arts community have garnered her a KW Arts Award, the Rogers Television Woman of the Year Award and recognition as one of the region's Top 40 Under 40. Her new album "hello heartache" is the perfect sonic antidote to the love bug. This eclectic album blends elements of rock, R&B, folk, jazz, country and alternative all under a pop umbrella. The songs are a diverse mix of driving rock tunes and mysterious ballads with catchy hooks and tongue-in-cheek lyrics that appeal to Top-40 and alternative rock lovers alike.
The CD wastes no time getting off the ground with "What do you want me to Say” an upbeat intro piece that serves up steady rock rhythm, melodic guitar, against hooky vocal melody from Kind that peaks and valleys its way through to emotional fruition. Track 2 “Hard to Resist” shifts gears a bit with methodical musical intro against hooky Pop vocal groove, driving rock rhythm against a grand slam chorus. Track 3 keeps things moving in the right direction with “Distant Memory” a thought provoking ditty that delivers heartfelt vocal delivery against well placed vocal harmonies and impressive piano accents. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of such classic acts such as Pat Benatar, Bangles, Quarterflash, Berlin and even Belinda Carlyle. The music itself is an impressive blend of Alternative Rock with an unmistaken Indie-Rock elements The musicianship of everyone involved is above the bar. Along the way besides the 4 piece standard you will notice lush instrumentation with things like well-placed keyboard accents, Fiddle, Trumpet, Cello, Orchestration and strings, Impressive soundscapes, and lush harmonies layered everywhere. Turning our attention squarely on Kind - as for her vocal abilities she has an infectious soprano showcasing a notable falsetto and delicate vibrato. I might add Kind takes several vocal risks throughout the CD indicating to me a strong and confident vocal ability. From jumping “Hot Shot” to rocking “Good Times” and “Glory Days” to melodic ”Mean to Me” to defiant “Water Under the Bridge” to heartfelt “Sears” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “Hello Heartache” the perfect finale piece waving you end for a smooth landing.
It’s fair to say the vocals sit very hot in the mix. I kept reaching for the volume knob throughout. I fully realize these types of mixes are designed to maximize radio Marketability but at the end of the day this approach is a real wear on the ears. I also wish there were a few more solos throughout.
From start to finish Hello Heartache” from Amanda Kind is an impressive catalogue of music. The music is very passionate, melodic, and comes from a happy yet defiant perspective. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire catalogue. The strong suit of Kind is her infectious voice and overall persona - which you can't help but fall in love with.