Conchita Campos – No One Really Knows (CD)

“No One Really Knows” begins with “Lately”, a track that I feel that exhibit enough energy and fire to keep listeners buckled in for the long haul. Whether it is the funky guitar lines, the impassioned vocals of Campos herself, or even the punchy drumming present, “Lately” is a bombastic and charged entry into “No One Really Knows”, and is a perfect foil to the much more slinky and sultry “Changes”. Hints of Tori Amos and Billie Holiday are present during this track, melding together genres as disparate as soul, r&b, blues, alternative, and indie rock all in the course of a few-minute effort.
Where each constituent element here shines on its own merit, I feel that the collective element of the vocals, bass, drums, and synthesizer here represent something that is significantly greater than the sum of each part. “Now and Then” continues with the slower sound first broaches during “Lately”, but spins the album into bold new places. It is really the interplay between the vocal and instrumental side of things here that sets “Now and Then” off from the rest of the tracks on “No One Really Knows”. Set apart, it is during the chorus that these two parts work together to make something endearing and impacting.

Where albums this year have been largely marked by a decrease in quality the later one gets in them, “No One Really Knows” seems to gain momentum with each subsequent effort. “Silverline” represents the first part of the second half of the disc, and I feel that there has been some sentience present in the tracks that allows the track to be crafted even at a step above even impressive efforts like “Changes”. While one can say the same thing when comparing “Ease My Mind” to the aforementioned “Silverline”, “Ease My Mind” represents a noteworthy track in other important dimensions. It is during this track that the vocals do more than just tell a story, and take on some bold harmonic nuances that set the instrumental side of the song off from anything else on “No One Really Knows”. “No One Really Knows” is an album that is comprises an important milestone in Campos’ music; it bridges the gap between her earlier work (“So It Goes”) and anything that may follow. Make sure to pick up this album today.

Top Tracks: Lately, Now and Then

Rating: 8.6/10

Conchita Campos – No One Really Knows / 2009 Self / 9 Tracks / /

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