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CD REVIEW: Kim Yarson - Thankful
By Cyrus Rhodes - 05/30/2012 - 04:48 PM EDT

Artist: Kim Yarson
Album: Thankful
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Country/Rock
Sounds Like: Alanis Morissette, Poe, Tori Amos, Sheryl Crow
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Without a Trace, The Falling, Make a Bridge
Weakness: Mixing (overly bright, lacks continuity)
CD Review:

New Jersey based Singer/Songwriter Kim Yarson just released her latest CD entitled “Thankful” in 2012. Yarson is no stranger to the Music Business having received numerous awards for her songwriting through various contests and has had single song contracts for several of her songs over the years in Nashville.

The CD gently takes flight with “In This Moment” a rocking intro groove that serves inviting vocals against impressive fretwork, rock solid rhythm section and a mesmerizing vocal front from Yarson. Track 2 “The Falling” presents a jumping follow-up piece that serves up driving rock rhythm, rich melody against heartfelt vocals. This piece flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition making for an impressive follow-up piece. Track 3 “Without a Trace” my personal favorite serves up red hot guitar chops against thought provoking lyrical content against hypnotic vocals. The musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. Song for song the effective combination of Yarson’s voice and world class songwriting is never called into question. As for her vocal abilities - she is quite impressive. Her vocal style is cut from the cloth of Alanis Morissette, Poe, Tori Amos, and even Sheryl Crow. Yarson showcases a crystal clear vibrato, with an appealing mezzo-soprano persona. All of this makes for a strong and confident vocal ability. I especially like how her voice just sort of flows and ebbs melodically with the music. This latest CD from Yarson delivers 13 compelling tracks all providing an interesting snapshot of an amazing artist with thought provoking lyrical wisdom with messages that are positive, passionate and extremely captivating. From rocking “Manhattan” and “Make a Bridge” to grooving Smack You” to heartfelt title track, to flowing “Out of Control” to striking “Reach” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with track 13 “Hope” the perfect wrap for a catalogue like this

I fully realize this is a subjective art form - but it’s fair to say this is one of the brightest, in your face mixes I've ever come across. Over time this production is a real wear on the ears and will successfully strip your senses down to their core. As a result the CD ironically lacks musical depth and is comparable to a BOLD FONT IN YOUR FACE FOR 45 MINUTES. These types of mixes are becoming more and more popular these days and are mainly designed to maximize radio marketability. However there are pros and cons when taking this approach. At the end of the day these types of mixes lack dynamic, depth and don’t allow much room for the music to breath within the sonic space. Mix also lacks continuity track to track.

I like everything about Yarson. She's truly an infectious artist that possess a "Gold Standard" look, sound, appeal, talent, vocal passion and presence. She also is a very impressive songwriter and guitarist. From start to finish “Thankful” is an impressive catalogue of music. The music is warm, extremely marketable, uplifting and very passionate. The pin drop moments are amazing, and her falsetto is to die for. The songwriting is an interesting snapshot of music from a clairvoyant artist that has quite a lot to offer a fanbase. All songs are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song this catalogue is extremely likeable very much like the artist herself.

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