KARA is referred to as none other than “The New Metal Queen” by those who know her best, and her new CD, the two-disc set – Passion, combines her talents with Grammy nominated Mark Hill’s piano work. This artist has worked with everyone from Bill Evans and Willie Nelson to Joe Henderson and Stevie Ray Vaughan. They have over 75 songs, and this two-disc release comes with 24-tracks, with one set featuring a whole band, the other disc is piano and vocals only. The project has been overseen in collaboration with Windmill Valley Recording in Bulverde, Texas.
Not much else is known to tell about Kara from what I’m sitting, but Mark Hill can be researched to find his illustrious background. He helps put the music of this album into the perspective needed to feature Kara’s voice in all-of its sheer glory. Make no mistake about it this is a deluxe collections-of choice vocal and piano numbers accompanied by an ensemble of fine musicians that smoke on the first disc and the final track of the second disc.
The rest is Kara and Mark only, together on some more songs where they take the limelight and equally shine together in full light of what they’ve recorded.
“Booty Call” starts off disc one, with the most accessible track to pop and smooth jazz radio. That’s not to say nothing else in that department measures up to it, but they don’t have that calling as much as this opening track. They accomplish it where it matters most, but this track wins that ticket for standing out the most in all areas. The rest of disc one has so much going on it’s easy to make comparisons about how the styles vary with the rest of the tracks taking less attention, but getting just as much. But if I were going to start an album off right, I’d pick the same lead off track as they did.
It’s almost like they go right into another album after the first track, because of the immediate change in tempo and grooves of the subsequent songs as they all unfold. For instance, the difference between the amazing opener and “Duke” seem to be in two different galaxies as they collide for equal dominance. But you get the same type of song that disc two is all about. So, the first two songs help show the vast differences of the two discs as it goes from an upbeat track to a delicate ballad without losing a step between the two styles of songs. And then you’re ready for more of the same of both aspects of this CD.
There is no dismissing the talent of Kara Stevenson, and another example of that is on the track “Everlasting Love” with Hill bringing out the best in her voice with a smooth piano behind her. This track is more like what’s found on the second disc, with just Kara and Hill’s piano doing all the talking.
The second disc comes with just as much impact in the songs, but with less musicality featured. This makes for another mood but it’s all good at the end of the day, with tracks like “Into The Light” and “Liquid Light” being two favorites. I also like ‘Rise Up” as well, and make sure to not miss “You & Me” before it’s all said and done. It comes highly recommended and so do the artists in question.