“Raindrops” starts out slowly, but Kalli seems to bring more and more elements into the track without losing anyone along the way. Still, by the time that the track gains a little steam, all that is needed is a guitar and drums. The vocals come in in much the same way as a Melissa Etheridge or a Joe Cocker, all while the driving instrumentation lifts the vocals to a new realm. The only thing that could be construed as a weakness for Kalli at the beginning of “While The City Sleeps” is the extended length of the first track. While it is true that the follow-up track to “Raindrops”, “Bridges Burn” has a slower tempo than the opening track, there is more in the way of instrumentation during “Bridges Burn” to keep individuals focused in.
The vocals on both tracks are stellar, but “Bridges Burn” has that little extra to bring individuals a little more into the Kalli fold. “River of Darkness” shows that Kalli has a specific plan for how “While The City Sleeps” should sound; slow, plodding, and with more than its fair share of folk influence. “River of Darkness” is the first track that individuals, if listening to the disc linearly, would be able to pick out as specifically being a Kalli track. The cohesion achieved by the disc at this point is not necessarily a positive thing, however; it is tremendously easy for an artist to fall into a rut at this juncture. “Back Down” is able to really give individuals an idea of which camp Kalli falls into. “Back Down” has the same slower style to it, but there seems to be a little more emotional content present during the instrumentation to the track.
The vocals are more spread out in terms of octaves, instead of being almost a monotone. The percussion that snowballs and comes to a head at the end of some lines is the reason why this track represents a break with the past; Kalli has saved eir skin at this point, even if the music is not too much different from what the rest of the disc offers. Kalli provides individuals with a safe bit of indie rock that is much more atmospheric and nuanced than pretty much anything else that has been released this year. I would have liked to hear other variations on Kalli’s overall sound, but that will undoubtedly follow on eir next album.
Top Tracks: Morning Rain, Fear
Kalli – While The City Sleeps / 2007 One Little Indian/ 10 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/kallimusic / http://www.onelittleindian-us.com / Reviewed 06 May 2007