Audra Kubat

Since I Fell in Love With the Music

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Audra Kubat's fourth album has a worryingly earnest title, but happily, it continues in the same vein as its predecessors. The Detroit-based singer/songwriter is folk-rock-based, but she's seemingly not at all interested in replicating the '70s Asylum Records sound. In fact, Kate Bush's mature work is closer to the mark than Joni Mitchell (despite Kubat's undeniable vocal resemblance to the Canadian thrush) or Jackson Browne: Kubat's lyrics are largely impressionistic, word pictures rather than easily grasped stories, and this richly textured album is created from layers of subtle instrumentation rather than "live" settings. Even a relatively simple guitar and voice tune like "Rise Up" is colored with keyboard drones, delicate string flourishes, and surprising touches like a stately marimba break. The songs are uniformly fine, tending toward minor key acoustic ballads, although a bit more variety in terms of tempo and time signature would keep the album from dragging slightly in its final third.

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