Karen Hunter: Rubble (Monkey)

 |   |  <1 min read

Karen Hunter: Drunk & Disorderly
Karen Hunter: Rubble (Monkey)

The guy who wrote the liner notes for this long overdue album by Auckland singer-songwriter Hunter -- it was me actually -- says he can well remember the first time he saw her perform: it was over 15 years ago and she stood so far outside the self-proscribed parameters that most musicians put on themselves you couldn't help but be stunned.

Hunter rocked from powerchords to soft acoustic balladry, embarked on free-flying spoken word, had a slippery jazz quality, and at other times she sounded like a folk singer.

She was "alt" long before there was "alt", if you know what I mean.

She continued her idiosyncratic path for many years but with little reward or comprehension from critics, then these past few years took time off to study jazz. My guess is she probably could have taught her tutors a thing or two.

The result is this album which is much more musically coherent than her previous outings (do yourself a favour and find The Private Life of Clowns and InsideOutside however), and in places owes more than a little to the early sound of Tom Waits and Rickie Lee Jones.

But those are only the most obvious references and keen ears will hear much more in the emotional depth of these songs. And some strange soundbeds for her lyrics.

Karen Hunter is one of a kind, and this album is further proof of that.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

kd lang: Watershed (Nonesuch)

kd lang: Watershed (Nonesuch)

I read a curious review of this recently in which the writer said if you came to this expecting kd to return to her country roots you'd be very disapppointed. Why anyone would expect that of... > Read more

Will Crummer: Shoebox Lovesongs (Ode)

Will Crummer: Shoebox Lovesongs (Ode)

Perhaps because my father-in-law was a member of the short-lived and largely anonymous Sixties band the Samoan Surfriders (one album, a gem, no names on the cover) or maybe because I came to New... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Very Best of 10cc

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Very Best of 10cc

In critics' circles 10cc were revered for their exceptional album The Original Soundtrack in '75 (which featured the whispery sonic masterpiece I'm Not in Love) and then reviled for the faux-reggae... > Read more

The Knack: And How To Lose It

The Knack: And How To Lose It

Okay, this is how I remember The Knack and its lead singer Doug Feiger, but it was a long time ago so the memory may be dodgy. It was August 13, 1979 to be exact and the ads boasted "biggest... > Read more