A lot of people have a sour taste in their mouth when it comes to Pop Music. They think it’s all supposed to be sugary lyrics paired together with subpar music and a pretty face, and to a degree that is the case. The music industry gets behind acts of solo artists who are attractive and produce inoffensive music. The problem is, that music is pretty offensive to people with ears, who have to listen to it repeatedly on every freaking radio station within a 2,000 mile radius.
But there are bands/performers on pop music stations that don’t suck. My No. 1 example is always Justin Timberlake. That guy is freaking money. But for every Timberlake we get five Soulja Boy’s and their music pollutes our eardrums.
Those were some of my thoughts when I listened to this album but Kate Miller-Heidke called “Curiouser”. I kept thinking THIS is what Pop Music SHOULD be in the United States. Not stuff about Poker Faces and sticking your key into the side of his pretty little suped-up 4-wheel drive.
I’m familiar with Miller-Heidke because she was the opening act for the Ben Folds concert I recently attended. Her performance was absolutely fantastic, and she controlled the crowd with cheeky lyrics, strong stage presence, and an overall fun persona that made the lead up to Folds much more bearable than I’d anticipated.
What this album does successfully is blend strong lyrics with pop radio sensibilities, and the result is a set of fun, mostly upbeat songs with cheery but never pandering dispositions.
The strength of the album is that it progressively gains strength as the track number gets higher. Most pop albums tend to be top heavy, shooting about four worthy songs straight out of the gate, and then boring the listener for the rest of the album with subpar tracks that lead the album to poor listenability after a certain period of time passes.
On this album it’s almost precisely the opposite. The first four songs are the weakest of the entire album, and after those four songs, the album really hits its stride. Miller-Heidke seems to be channeling a feminine spirit of John Lennon, the lyrical potency of Alanis Morrisette, and the pop music pedigree of Kelly Clarkson.
Her voice is strong, a classically trained voice with an unbelievable range. Most of the songs on this album have a bouncy quality, and would be a welcomed addition to a pop music landscape that is growing more and more stale by the minute.
The strongest songs on the album are, “I Like You Better When You’re Not Around”, “Politics in Space”, “Supergirl”, and “Our Song”. The rest of the album is still quite strong, and the lack of multiple weak tracks bolsters the overall quality of the album.
Overall, “Curiouser” is a strong album that will make you wish Pop Music went more in this direction. Kate Miller-Heidke has an incredible voice, and her tongue in cheek, sometimes self-deprecating humor is a potent lyrical combination. The album is light-hearted, fun, and in the end, it’s harmless. There are a few songs that I think could be pretty big hits in the U.S. if they were released, or at the very least it would put a capable songstress on the airwaves, a most rare occurrence these days.
Score: 6.5/10 (Pretty Good)