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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Kristen Karma - Destination Unknown

Kristen Karma - Destination Unknown
2010, Kristen Karma

Kristen Karma is an up-and-coming pop sensation based out of Vancouver, British Columbia.  The former Royal Conservatory of Music student has turned her talents to an eclectic electro-pop blend that works well for her.  Karma recently released her debut EP, Destination Unknown.

Destination Unknown opens with "The Best In Me", a straight-forward alt-rock song with heavy electronic elements and a catchy arrangement.  It's a song of acknowledgement of love or friendship, asking nothing in return; a solid start.  "Bustin' Out" is a vibrant kiss-off tune that declares freedom in a big pop sound.  "Maybe Someday" rebalances the sound to equal out the rock and electro elements while serving as an apt epilogue to "Bustin' Out".  It's an 'I'm not alright but I will be' message that will hit home for anyone who’s in that space when they hear the song.  "Breakaway" is a big-time pop ballad; pretty and moving with great guitar work woven into the mash of sound.  Karma's best moment here is the sort of song that gets lighters swaying in amphitheaters.  Karma sets up her finale with the solid, upbeat rocker "Something More", before closing with a sad ballad of parting in "Goodbye".  This is nice touch both musically and artistically as Karma gets mellow without letting go of her alt-rock pastiche.  Don't be surprised if "Goodbye" gets licensed for a teen television drama or movie.

Kristen Karma is an interesting study on Destination Unknown.  There isn't really one specific quality that stands out as truly exceptional, and yet everything she brings to the table here is very good.  Strong songwriting, an affable voice and a performance style that's in the moment but not in your face make for the sort of EP that you'll keep coming back to.  Karma doesn't appear to the sort of artist who will ever hit the absolute heights of pop stardom; rather you might expect Karma to have the sort of career that spans many years with critically well-received albums that never quite break into the pop realm but develop enough of a following to keep her comfortably making music for as long as she wants.  So while Destination Unknown may by aptly named, Kristen Karma presents a powerful argument that she's right on track.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Kristen Karma at or  Destination Unknown is available from as a CD or Download.  The EP is available from iTunes.

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