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Everybody Loves You

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Album Review

Simply put, Kaki King possesses the most original voice on the acoustic guitar in a generation. Her sound, full of gorgeous tapped melodies and popping basslines, is as deeply emotional as John Fahey's, as technically savvy as Preston Reed's, and as energetic as Leo Kottke's (à la 6- and 12-String Guitar, Greenhouse, and Mudlark). Citing these legendary players is not for the sake of comparison in style or approach, but in metaphor only for she sounds only like herself. King's thumb over the neck and simultaneous double-handed melody line playing is a muscular approach to the instrument to be sure, but in her melodies. harmonic runs and basslines become checkpoints to the musical cosmos; they are complex, indescribable emotional pathways to the heart as well as the mind. There is no "math" in her playing. She goes too far inside the musical labyrinth for that and speaks like a guitarist whose virtuosity lies not only in her technique — which is truly and literally stunning — but in her "singing" voice on the instrument. King is a songwriter for the guitar — and not like Michael Hedges either. This is the music of luminous motion, where trains, planets, and constellations meet at some interstitial point; where earth and sky kiss lustily. For every workout like "Close Your Eyes & You'll Burst Into Flames," where time signatures blur under percussive roils and thumping subharmonies, there are nearly pastoral vistas like "Joi." The manner of counterpoint used in the title track would make most flamenco guitarists jealous for the way it continually moves further into itself and adds body and dimension to the ground of its assertion. The intimate masterwork here is the closer, "Fortuna," where shape-shifting genres and guitar styles weave through and around one another to offer a meditation on love, grace, and the willingness to speak instrumentally and vocally of deeper unspecified truths, secret histories, forceful desires, and chimerical states of being before slipping out the back door with intimate, tender, smart-assed humor. If this seems like an unspecific way to tell about this song, it is; here is music so heartbroken, so gloriously individual and fathomless, one can only venture how knotted the heartworm highways of its origin are. Everybody Loves You is the most auspicious, tender, and tough instrumental debut by any guitarist in a decade at least. It is singular in approach and peerless in execution; and in its poetic, raggedly graceful manner, it is simply a treasure of individuality and idiosyncratic virtuosity, visceral truth, and verve.

Customer Reviews

Astonishing

If you got hold of Leo Kottke, John Martyn, Paco Pena, Martin Carthy and Django Reinhardt then stuffed them in a blender, the result would be Kaki King. Fantastically innovative playing, and she's a girl! I was by a circular saw when I first heard her and very nearly lobbed my fingers off, out of sheer jealousy. There are times when five stars are just not enough and this is one of them. Check out the video, "Playing with Pink Noise".

Biography

Born: 24 August 1979 in Marietta, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Kaki King's childhood passions were the drums and Brit-pop, and she figured if she ever made it big it would be because of her skills behind the kit. However, her musical talents didn't stop there: she also played the guitar, and though she learned Beatles and Fleetwood Mac songbooks, she found herself drawn to the styles of Preston Reed and Michael Hedges. Moving from Atlanta to New York to attend college, King got her first taste of solo guitar performance thanks to campus open-mike nights, and...
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Everybody Loves You, Kaki King
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