Light hearted candy pop
Marketed as a quirky, cosmopolitan boho-girl with no shortage of talent (racing driver, artist and instrumentalist) I'm beginning to feel a little jealous already. Luckily it soon becomes apparent that "Life Changes" is the kind of sunshine-filled album that I wouldn't ever want to write.
It begins with the chirpy "City Life". It's light, candyfloss pop, so laidback and poppy that the lyric, "there's never enough hours in the day" seems completely out of place and begins to grind on my nerves already.
"Love Song" is a little less full on and captures Rachel's sweet voice perfectly in a gentle acoustic number with dreamy violins. Billed as catchy, I can't see it as anything more than a pretty tune that will float from your mind in seconds. There are plenty more sweet and delicate little ballads that follow, "Truth Hurts" is vulnerable and fragile, hardly what you'd expect from a girl who actively participates in motorsports. "The One" also follows a soppy, little-girl-lovesick format and bounces along pretty indifferently.
"Bubble Trouble" saves us from dull as dishwater territory with its discordant intro and angsty tune. Luckily for Rachel, it's her potential single and her underlying cello work is very attractive and builds up the melodies under this atmospheric pop song. There are some jazzy harmonic vocals in "Bring It Back" and little screamy vocals that are cute and bring back a sense of personality in the music.
"Irikalia" is beautiful, with simplistic, folk lyrics about the sea and piano that carries you far from the shore and well built up chorus. Last tune "Hearts Desire" is the kind of angsty, confused tune that could have carried this album far better than the bouncy, upbeat songs. Its murmuring backing vocals are perfect and layers of guitar and piano create a swell of emotion that just hasn't been captured in any of the other songs. Better late than never.
This is a frustrating album; Rachel Mari Kimber obviously has a lot of talent, but most her work just feel somehow flat and devoid of emotion. There are some well-crafted songs but the happy-happy pop vibe is just slightly nauseating.