You can’t always tell a book by its cover, or so the old saying goes. So when an album arrives with the title Contradictions it really is hard to know what to expect. In fact, what we have is a genre shifting album that seamlessly introduces an intoxicating blend of late night jazz, smooth blues, catchy funk, easy rock, and gentle groove driven pop.
Contradictions is the début album from Washington DC band Side FX. Led by sultry singer Kim Cameron and her guitarist partner Chris Nikpora, who adds swathes of colour with some impressive breaks, this is an album that is all but impossible to nail in the category department.
Listen several times and the real Contradictions begin to emerge. It’s deceptively upbeat, easy going summery feel, shifts through to a late night vibe with reflective lyrics. “What you see is not always what you get’ says singer Kim Cameron, as this immaculately blended album unfolds.
The atmosphere is eclectic and yet, as a contradiction, hangs together effortlessly. Many of the songs carry ‘hidden meanings’ of observations along life’s often rocky road. They include songs of romance and love, through to disillusioned troops, and on to the feelings of a woman who feels trapped. within her life.
Radio-friendly songs, dance floor tempos, and catchy hooks abound as the album unfolds. Kim possesses a voice that can cover all of these twists and turns, and every charged emotion with conviction. She sounds warm and sultry one moment, powerful, soulful, or vibrant the next. Underpinning all this is Side FX’s ability to write killer radio friendly hooks, and deliver them with some excellent musicianship.
Contradictions is rooted in the classic pop-rock vibe of the seventies but they give it a twist by introducing extra elements, or should I say Side FX, into the mix. The first two tracks, “Scattered” and “My Hero”, confirm how smoothly these transitions blend together.