# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Karl Smith - Kites

  by Tommy Gunnarsson

published: 17 / 11 / 2013

Karl Smith - Kites
Label: Fortuna POP!
Format: CD


Slightly disappointing debut solo album from Australian indie pop duo Sodastream's front man, Karl Smith

I first discovered the Australian duo when ordering their 7” single 'Turnstyle' by chance (they were compared to Belle & Sebastian in the catalogue) from the now sadly defunct mail order Mind the Gap in Germany back in 2000 or 2001, and instantly fell in love with their soft folksy indiepop. I have never really understood the comparisons to Glasgow’s finest, but since that’s what tuned me into their music I guess I should be thankful for it anyway. And ever since that first contact with Karl Smith and Pete Cohen’s music I have cherished every record they put out, even though I think their debut album 'Looks Like a Russian' and the mini album 'Practical Footwear' are still the best records they ever released. Then in 2007 they split up, and since then I have been eagerly awaiting any new solo output from either of the two members...but there has been nothing. Until now. I was kind of hoping that this first solo album from Karl would be following in the footsteps of his solo single 'The Sky is Beginning to Bruise', which was released in 1997, the same year that Sodastream released their first mini album, 'Enjoy', back in Australia. But since that one sounded exactly like Sodastream, I guess it was a bit unrealistic to hope for that now. But what does it sound like, then? Well, musically, it’s not far off, actually. We get to hear some acoustic guitars (and even some electric ones, as well), cello, double bass, piano...the usual Sodastream line-up. So far, so good. But something has happened to Karl’s voice, and where he used to have a soft, almost whispering, voice, he now experiments with it. He yells and he wails, such as on 'Crochets',and I’m not sure I like it. And even though some of the songs on the album are quite good (like the first single, 'I Want You'), I can’t help but feeling a bit disappointed. Sure, it’s more or less my own fault, for having high such expectations. The songs on 'Kites' are not up to Sodastream's class, but I guess it’s unfair to compare these two projects with each other, since this is Karl’s solo outing. Why would he want to make another Sodastream album on his own? Speaking of which...A rumour tells me that there will be a new Sodastream album out in the near future. My expectations are, sadly, very high…

Track Listing:-
1 After Mr Morrison
2 Little Lucy
3 I Want You
4 Glass Eye
5 Hang Our Bodies
6 Crochets
7 Slow Short Story
8 I Know Julia
9 Voices
10 Everything

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