If Kari Bunn wasn't a singer/songwriter who specializes in alternative pop/rock, it wouldn't be hard to picture her as an R&B singer -- not someone as rugged as Etta James or Betty Wright, but more along the lines of Deniece Williams, Patrice Rushen, or the late Minnie Riperton. That isn't to say that Start, her debut EP, has anything to do with R&B; the songs are strictly alternative pop/rock. But like Williams and Rushen, Bunn favors a sweetly girlish style of singing -- and when she hits the hit notes (which is something she does quite often), the Philadelphia resident (originally from Connecticut) does make you think of some of R&B's more girlish voices. Produced and mixed by Ray Bardani, Start is a fairly promising, if imperfect, debut. The melodies are memorable, and Bunn brings a lot of warmth and vulnerability to her introspective lyrics. If you appreciate artists like Sophie B. Hawkins, Shawn Colvin, and Lisa Loeb, it isn't hard to hear Bunn's potential on "Telescope," "Ever for Until," "Heart Begins to Fade," and "Love's Address" (a touching number about being fed up with loneliness). Start is essentially an EP; there are only four songs, but Start contains a total of seven tracks because Bunn provides both electric and acoustic versions of every song except "Heart Begins to Fade" (which only gets the electric treatment). Is Start a masterpiece? No, but it's enjoyable, and it indicates that Bunn is someone to keep an eye on.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson