Karma - Don't Walk Fly

2008-12-29 12:52

Karma-Ann's vocals are crystal clear, powerful, and expressive without being petulant - a fantastic radio-rock voice in other words.

In any sane music industry, her voice alone would be enough to propel her to the top of the charts. What Don't Walk Fly proves, though, is that not only is Karma an accomplished female pop artist, she's also a hard working songwriter and band leader, adjusting her creative energies to suit the people she worked with on this first full length, US produced, Karma CD.

Yes, similarities to Henry Ate are still apparent. This is due, of course, mainly to Karma being the centrepiece and dominant creative force in her old band, just as she is in this one. However, the tight drumming from Danny, and the unflashy bass from the jazz-trained Stephen give what was a pleasing sound some indie-flavoured sophistication. Karma's fellow South African Christiaan's prettily co-operative electric guitar is a small rock-pop miracle in itself, never stealing the limelight, never making you wish someone could wrap a string around his neck.

Don't Walk Fly introduces a band with a pop sound that's familiar but intriguing. In short, the perfect sound for success. "Tula" - currently climbing the Highveld Stereo charts - is a fast and very, very catchy number that manages to tunefully combine anger, humour, and angst "I'm likely to see you sometime again / Jump out of a window and then..."

A couple of songs might wear thin after the first few plays. "Lucy" drags a bit. "Tula"'s catchiness might make it a bit tiring further down the line. "Remember me" is a bit wordy after a while.

They say the devil is in the detail. In this case, the goodness is too. Songs like "Tula", "Honestly honest", "Tattoo", and the pensively moving "O Miles" ("Just" fans will love this one) remind us that pop hooks and good chick rock needn't be stupid to make you an instant addict.

The album finishes with the quietly adventurous melody of Karma's solo song, "Contraband" - a curious lament on which she calmly accompanies herself.

- Jean Barker

Henry Ate, Karma-Ann's old band, packed it in after a string of SA hits, some controversy, and 17 drummers. She moved to the States in search of a bigger audience, and started again, this time with a stable band, made up of herself, Karma-Ann Swanepoel (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar), Daniel de la Fe (Drums), Christiaan Wood (Electric Guitar), and Stephen Calderalo (Bass).

Karma's first full length album Don't Walk Fly is produced by multiple Grammy Award winner Scot Canto. It's p

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