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Plethora

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Album Review

Like a number of tracks on Kissey Asplund's first album, "Beam Me Up" seems to materialize and evaporate rather than begin and end. Half of the time, the Swedish space cadet's either fading in and out of consciousness or singing in her sleep, her multi-tracked voice about as tangible as the aimlessly swarming waves of synths and dotted bass tones. There's more punch to the remainder of Plethora, laced in varying combinations by the French production team PapaJazz, who are — like most other exponents of off-center R&B these days — children of Dilla and Premier, but nothing is quite as hypnotizing as that song, even if it could use some Vulcan lute. Even on the most frictional track, "Fuss'n'fight," where crisply clipped percussion shards encircle lunar bass prods, Asplund darts in and out of the mix, sounding like she didn't want to disturb a cat napping nearby, even though she's delivering an admonishment. The neo-Guaraldi motif and PapaJazz audio logo that appear throughout the album are too cute to tolerate, but apart from those things, the album is obliquely fetching.

Customer Reviews

Strong Beats Weaker Songs

Don't get me wrong I love Kissey's tone, but this album doesn't leave you feeling that you've learnt anything from the artist by listening to it. The songs are very "state of consciousness" and lack the substance, structure and vocal arrangement that Neo-Soul heads are used to from the likes of Jill Scott. That said the beats by the Papa Jazz Crew are very very tight and despite the above mentioned shortcomings from the artist, the album is worth a listen for it's futuristic production. There are a few gem tracks like Caos which is by far the track with the most potential; Kissey's jazzy skits sit perfectly on a laid back groove but sadly, like the rest of the album the song fails to fully develop. With a "Plethora" of artists stateside churning out conscious soul that sells by the bucket load lets hope Kissey's offering isn't a syntax error..

A Young Badu

Mellow, relaxing and great for moments of empty, drifting thought processes. The songs seep into each other well. I like to listen to this album whilst strolling in the park.

Production is weak in parts, but Kissey's charm wins my affection throughout the album. It's a soft and calming album. I agree with the other review that the album lacks some substance and perhaps even dedication, but still a great listen. Worth buying if you like neo-soul.

Biography

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Initially using the Internet as her main vehicle, Swedish electro-soul singer Kissey Asplund introduced her silky and meandering falsettos on her debut album, Plethora (2008), an ethereal collage of neo-soul, jazz-house and deep house, hip-hop, and abstract broken beat. Born in 1982 to a Swedish father and Grenadian (West Indies) mother, Asplund was raised to be a music performer. Starting at age six she was trained to play a variety of instruments, such as the piano and, of course, her voice, in...
Full bio
Plethora, Kissey Asplund
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