Kimya Dawson has, if nothing else, confidence in what she is and what has to say, and she wants other people to feel the same way about themselves, too. Which doesn't mean that her fifth full-length release, Remember That I Love You, is an arrogant record; rather, it portrays an emotional honesty that, even in its weakness ("I'm trying to be brave/because when I'm brave other people feel brave/but I feel like my heart is caving in") -- or perhaps because of this admittance -- contains a strength and humanity that's seen in few contemporary artists. Dawson is concerned about the well-being of her listeners. She genuinely wants them to be happy. This desire to help, to be a friend, means that for Dawson, the musical portion of her songs (quickly strummed open acoustic guitar chords, the occasional bell or keyboard) takes a distant second place to her lyrics. Which is fine, because her words are so engaging, but it wouldn't hurt her to experiment a little more with chord progressions or keys (an exception is the darker "France," whose music, incidentally, she only co-wrote), as the melodies tend to blend easily into one another. The lyrics, however, are quite unique. Like any good folk (or anti-folk) singer, Dawson has a social consciousness that she's more than willing to explicitly share ("and I'll say f*ck Bush and f*ck this war" in "Looselips" or "We'd have 12/26 tattooed across our foreheads if something this atrocious happened on our coast instead" in "12/26," a response to her feelings of helplessness after the 2004 tsunami), but she doesn't come across as preachy or holier-than-thou. She's honest, and she's being herself, and that's all she wants, from herself and others. Yes, sometimes it takes a bit of reading between the lines to filter through the slightly non-sequitur, or even bizarre, lyrics ("when I saw Genevieve I really liked it when she said/what she said about the giant and the lemmings on the cliff/she said 'I like giants, especially girl giants/'cause all girls feel too big sometimes, regardless of their size") to reach the underlying message underneath, but it's kind of nice knowing that such positivity exists amidst the cynicism and anger of the outside world.
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AllMusic Review by Marisa Brown