Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Amanda Kravat: “AK” (2014) CD Review

You might know Amanda Kravat as the lead singer of Marry Me Jane from the mid-1990s, or from her solo work. Her new EP, AK, her first release in a dozen years, is a collection of four strong, original tracks that have a very personal feel.

The first track, “Not Myself Today,” is a rock song in which she opens herself up and in doing so opens us up as well. I mean, how often do we all feel like saying, “I’m all right, but not okay,” as she does in this song? What I like is that the word “today” is included in the line “I’m just not myself today,” implying that the trouble is temporary, that she’ll get through it. That we can all get through it. Music has a healing property, and this tune is like reaching a hand out to yourself. Plus, it’s a good rock tune.

My favorite track on this EP, however, is “I Could Tell You I Don’t Love You.” It’s a sweeter, sadder, more intimate-sounding song. The first line is sung a cappella, like it's just her and us. This track is mainly driven by her vocals and piano. “I could say that you don’t inspire me/But that’s not exactly true/Everything about me/Is a version of you.” There is a very naked quality to this song, particularly in her vocal approach, that is quite moving.

“Wouldn’t Be This” has a somewhat brighter pop flavor, and in this one she sings “I got nothing left to bitch about” and “It looks like this is my town... at last.”  “Wouldn’t Be This” was written by Amanda Kravat and Glenn Rosenstein.

The EP’s final track, “Somebody Else Is Driving,” seems to express an optimism, while also being grounded in a reality, and the sound of this song reflects that, with some positive energy to the vocals in the chorus, but also a steady base. “I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got,” she sings. It sounds like she’s coming to terms with not being completely in control; after all, “Somebody else is driving.” My favorite lines from this song are “I got a couple of boyfriends/But I’m not in any danger of knowing what I need.” Amanda Kravat co-wrote this song with Richie Supa.

CD Track List
  1. Not Myself Today
  2. I Could Tell You I Don’t Love You
  3. Wouldn’t Be This
  4. Somebody Else Is Driving
AK was released on October 28, 2014. It was produced and engineered by Max Coane, who also plays piano and provides some vocals, and was mixed by Mark Saunders.

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