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CD Review: Arden Kaywin – Quarter Life Crisis

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Have you ever listened to a CD and felt it was talking to your soul? That is what I felt the first time I listened to Arden Kaywin’s debut album, Quarter Life Crisis.

Quarter Life Crisis was inspired by Arden’s post-graduate blues. We all have those questions after college, where now, what now, and with whom. This album is an ode to her search for those answers and a new direction in her life. Love gone wrong and her desire to be with someone she can love, who will love her back, seem to be foremost on her mind.

Her earthy, powerful voice is beautiful to listen to — she was nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2005 Los Angeles Music Awards. The songs, all written by Arden, are deep and searching with real emotion attached to the written lyrics but I didn’t feel that she put as much emotion into singing them. I felt she could have let go a little more and shown us the anxiety, heartbreak, or even the joy that she had written so eloquently. When she gets that bit right she will be utterly amazing.

Arden’s many influences are clear in her music: Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos, and the Indigo Girls are all well represented in her lyric and singing style. The production –- by veteran producer Rudy Hausermann — and mixing — by Grammy Nominee Rob Jacobs — are excellent and ensure that Arden’s voice shines through on every song.

The singles are Me With Me — which was recently nominated by the Independent Music Awards for Pop Song of the Year and also featured on an episode of Related on the WB network — is energetic, vibrant and fun. On The Edge is a beautiful song that conveys the heartache and hunger of unrequited love.

The track When Will it Happen reminded me of KT Tunstall’s funky/folk fusion sound. As Long As You Love Me is a sad tale of the end of a relationship and her need to hold onto it. And Numb spoke to me personally of a struggle with depression after a heartbreak.

Keeping all this in mind I would have to say that Quarter Life Crisis is well written and beautifully performed, overall a very enjoyable listen. I sincerely recommend not missing this surprising little gem. Look out for Arden Kaywin in future; she is most definitely a rising superstar of pop. I’m already yearning for her next album.

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About A.L. Harper

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/cmpwrite Connie Phillips

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