KAREN SOUZA – Velvet Vault

Music Brokers 2017

KAREN SOUZA - Velvet Vault

KAREN SOUZA –
Velvet Vault

When intimate moments last forever, Argentinian chanteuse chimes in to enchant.

After three successful albums, this singer’s pattern of mixing standards with unexpected covers can hardly surprise, yet this time she delivered a record whose charm is so lazy that “lounge” doesn’t come close to defining her approach to a tune. In such context, negative statements like “I’m Not In Love” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” may suggest Souza simply wouldn’t bother to leave her comfort zone – that twilight zone – but Karen’s handling of those classics or jazz perennials “I’m Beginning To See The Light” and “I Fall In Love Too Easily” takes them out of Frank and Ella’s shadows to present to the public in a different color of mood, even though the occasional humorous element of the gems is lost in transition.

Wrapped in sympathetic ensemble, Souza’s vocals become an instrument of aural caress, and while her way around a song can seem to make its flow rather monotonous, the results are pacifying, with unobtrusive, stumbling groove of “Walk On The Wild Side” and “Valerie” – the later featuring Robin Banerjee who also augmented Amy Winehouse’s version of the same piece – spicing up the album in all the right places. Karen’s captivating originals “In The Blink Of An Eye” and “You Got That Something” – her duet with flugelhorn player Toku, an update of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” of sorts – fit neatly into the intimate scheme of things, as do “Kids” and “In Between Days” which have been exorcised of MGMT’s hurry and THE CURE’s demons in favor of languid bossa nova. Still, there’s no real surprise here, and the diva will have to change her grasp on imagination if she wants to retain the listener’s focus.

***2/3

June 6, 2018

Category(s): Reviews
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