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CD REVIEW: Lori Malia Kats - "To Fly"
By David Lockeretz - 11/08/2002 - 05:07 AM EST

Artist: Lori Malia Kats
Album: "To Fly"
CD Review: Lori Malia Kats has an excellent voice that is put to good use on this set of mellow, pop-tinted folk songs. You can understand every word--and often the words are well worth understanding. She sings of relationships, dreams, and life.

Kats comes off as a kind of Joni Mitchell of the Pacific northwest. When Kats is somber she is not bleak and when she is happy she is still grounded. A particularly strong piece is "Hate Will Be So Hard To Find" in which Kats sings, "If you believe love is open/If you believe love is kind/When you choose to love all colors/hate will be so hard to find."

On other pieces she takes a more child-like approach, in particular "Strawberry-Rhubarb Dream" and "Can't You See", in which children actually do sing along (think "Another Brick in the Wall Part II"-- just kidding).

Perhaps the next step for Kats would be to incorporate more variety into her material. Her understatement is welcome; I don't mean to say that she needs to bring in Yngwie Malmsteen to shred through a Marshall 4x12, but maybe some tasteful slide guitar, or dobro, might spice things up a little bit. I must say though, I haven't heard a whole lot of pieces that feature the Bulgarian Tamboura. Will we be hearing didgeridoo on her next release? Time will tell, but Iím looking forward to hearing more from Kats.

She can be reached in email at

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