Rock & Roll Report Card

Kathryn Calder
Are You My Mother?

72% (B-)

When I read the back of Kathryn Calder’s album, Are You My Mother?, I feared I would be in need of a box of tissues to get through all the songs, as Calder wrote the album while taking care of her terminally ill mother. Surprisingly, the album is light and fluffy with many simple melodies that stick with you.

Calder’s music is a unique mix of Regina Spektor, Enya and Feist all tossed together, which at times can make it hard to find a cohesiveness to the album, but this creates a welcome variety of music that keeps you guessing at what will come next.

Her most impressive song is the first track, “Slip Away.” The song starts off with basic piano chords and slowly builds itself up by adding different instruments. Calder and producer Colin Stewart used Kleenex boxes and kitchen cabinets as their percussion section to create unique sounds.

As Calder begins singing you are immediately impressed by her soft and sweet voice, which is not overbearing, but still leaves an impact on the audience.

My favourite part of the song is the chorus, which reminds me a lot of Spektor. Then, out of nowhere the soft and sweet vocals disappear, making way for a much more upbeat melody that makes you suddenly burst out into dance.

Calder’s album is an enjoyable one, but there’s nothing earth-shattering about it and it’s similar to a lot of other singers’ work. However, that’s not to say there isn’t value to Calder’s work. She continues the movement of whimsical indie singers who provide an excellent soundtrack for your life, as you write your endless essays or catch up on your piles of readings.

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