Kim RicheyKim Richey ~ Chinese Boxes
(Vanguard Records - 2008)

Kim Richey's vocals here are haunting, memorable, and ineffebly beautiful. All of her innate gifts as a true music artist - poetic lyric-writing , communicative ability to breathe life into any song, and above all, her glorious inimitable voice - are enshrined in this album.What can I say? By the time I got to the middle of the third song, I was totally in love. This is one of those CDs that you put in and you let it play all the way through and you love every single song on it. And you actually come to love them more, each time you listen to them. These lyrics are so real, so felt, that we hang on her every note for it is hypnotic in how deeply personal and real they are, for this is a rare artist sharing art, persona, and truth all in the same breath.

Chinese Boxes was produced by Giles Martin and recorded in London at Eastcote Studios and Air Studios Lyndhurst. Giles Martin’s most recent project was The Beatles “Love” soundtrack, which he collaborated on with his father, Sir George Martin.
The first single “Jack and Jill” (and lead track) gives the couple in the nursery rhyme a bit of a back-story – and the listener a hint of the discoveries to come. The title track tries to define a mysterious person before giving way to “Drift”, a poignant love song (co-written with Mindy Smith). “The Absence of Your Company” showcases Richey’s vocal vulnerability in a sparse instrumental setting while the cautionary “Another Day” highlights Kim’s stunning sense of melody. The album-closing “Pretty Picture”, is an intimate ballad that speaks honestly of true love. But the songs here are not simply light backdrops for a vocal vehicle. These are arangements that Nelson Riddle would be proud of, with every instrumental voice contributing nested hooks without overwhelming.
Fans and critics alike have long awaited new music from the critically appraised singer/songwriter, whose other albums include Kim Richey (1995), Bitter Sweet (1997), Glimmer (1999), Rise (2002), and The Collection (2004). Highly recommended.

Review by Ben Kettlewell



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