On Disc: Kate Maki

Album: On High

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

On High by Kate Maki

Kate Maki
On High
OW OM Finished Recorded Products

3 stars

Kate Maki sounds like the Frankenstein-esque combination of Smog (Bill Callahan) and Beth Orton.

On High is the Ontario-born singer’s third album and was produced by Howe Gelb. As well as Maki, On High includes duets with other talented musicians.

Maki’s voice is melodic with a hint of boredom. It’s a charming boredom though, that puts sweet sorrow in her lyrics.

Maki’s voice blends well with the record’s acoustic instruments. While sounding theatrical at times, On High’s sound is mostly mellow.

“To Please” sounds like it was recorded on an old LP, while the accompanying music has a circus-like quality.

In songs like “White Noise” her voice is bluesy and Sinatra-like.

“Don’t Look Down” has Maki performing a duet with bandmate Gelb. Her lyrics are poignant, but the way she repeats certain lines is simultaneously charming and irritating.

Overall this is a fairly lighthearted, though unoriginal, album.

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