Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Five Ways of Disappearing
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Smith was Hope Sandovall's predecessor in Mazzy Star. Her debut makes the folk-rock of that band and the Cowboy Junkies sound drab by comparison. She essays upbeat, alternative rock on "Temporarily Lucy" and "In Your Head,... more »
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Smith was Hope Sandovall's predecessor in Mazzy Star. Her debut makes the folk-rock of that band and the Cowboy Junkies sound drab by comparison. She essays upbeat, alternative rock on "Temporarily Lucy" and "In Your Head," delves into Eno-inspired art-rock on "Aurelia," and brilliantly resurrects the Richard Farina folk oldie "Bold Marauder." Often compared to Nico because of her use of pump organ, Smith only echoes the Velvet Underground's femme fatale on "Bohemian Zebulon" and "Get There." --Jeff Bateman
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An Eclectic Masterpiece!
hadaverde | WA, USA | 08/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Simply put, this album is nothing short of amazing! This moody 13-track release showcases Kendra Smith's diverse talents as both a vocalist and a musician. Encompassing a wide range of musical genres, "Five Ways of Disappearing" is nevertheless tied together by Ms. Smith's own distinctive style. She makes use of an array of instruments not commonly associated with popular music (such as pump organs and other hurdy-gurdies) to add an unusual but intriguing flavor to her music. While a more traditional soft-pop sound prevails on a majority of tracks, this CD also includes the decidedly jazzy "Drunken Boat", and an eerie carnival-gone-awry tone on "Bohemian Zebulon". The album closes on a powerful note with Ms. Smith's ominous rendition of Mimi and Richard Farina's "Bold Marauder".All in all, regardless of one's expectations upon one's first listening, this CD will undoubtedly provide some unexpected but pleasant surprises."
Five ways, a hundred dark spots
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 08/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Most folk-pop fans will be able to easily identify Hope Sandoval as the eerie voice behind Mazzy Star. But her predecessor Kendra Smith is not so well known, and her sultry, dark pop solo album is one of those sadly unknown albums that deserves more than it got.
There's not even a hint of folk-pop here. Instead, Smith kicks things off with the gothic, synth-heavy pop "Aurelia." It's more noteworthy for Axis' twisted riffs than for any real musical originality, but Smith sounds wonderfully dark and eerie as she sings the vaguely mythic lyrics.
From there on, Smith takes a slightly more organic approach, melding dark pop lyrics with lush instrumental themes. She dabbles in guitar pop, bouncy gritty synth melodies, and ethereal goth stuff, with only one real foray into folkiness. And even there, she has a lot of piano.
Only imagination will tell us what would have happened, had Smith retained her place in Mazzy Star, instead of it going to Sandoval. But one thing is obvious -- it would have sounded very different. Smith's vocals are sultrier, and her music is darker and more lush, in the tradition of dark pop musicians like Nico.
She also resembles Nico in her use of a pump organ, which adds a stately, sometimes haunting note to the basic guitar and bass. It also provides a feeling of a deserted carnival in the nighttime in some songs, with Smith presiding over a dark main tent. Even in the more ethereal moments like "Temporarily Lucy," the smooth pop sounds strangely distant and lush.
Smith's voice is smooth and sultry without being self-consciously so. And she sounds her best when she sings the dark, slightly surreal songs rather than the upbeat ones: "They tell him that he should be dead/Radionic thugs are getting in his head/He sorts it out by sound and vibe/Knowing it's all true and it's a lie/in your head..."
Kendra Smith's solo album "Five Ways of Disappearing" is a darkly pretty experience, with sultry vocals and lots of thick, lush pop music."
P. Mccaffrey | New Jersey, USA | 10/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was very pleasantly suprised when I first played this CD. It was my first exposure to Kendra Smith's post- Opal work, and I had read alot of mixed reviews on it. It's an excellent release. The songwriting is great, the instrumental work is wonderful, and the production is perfectly suited to the material. There's also something heartening about experiencing an original, individualistic piece of work in a time when pop music is becoming increasingly derivative."