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Album Review - Talking Underwater by Kree Woods

“Kree Woods is one of those rare pop singer-songwriters who have all the puzzle pieces: vocal chops, songwriting chops, and the vision to craft an album that sounds great.”
~ Blog Critics Music

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Release Date: 09-April-2013
Genre: Indie Pop / Indie Contemporary / Singer-Songwriter
Location: Nashville, TN
Publisher: [p][c] Zodlounge Music
Label: Zodlounge Records
Total Time: 47m 43s
Review Date: 10-April-2013
Review Format: AAC (iTunes)
Bit Rate: 256 kbps
For Fans Of: Ingrid Michaelson, Colbie Caillat, Kate Voegele, Shannon Labrie, Christine McVie
Songs In Jivewired Radio Rotation: Just Go, Cut My Strings
Best Songs: Just Go, Talking Underwater, Cave In, Fake (Shake It Up), Save Her, Cut My Strings
Best of the Rest: Lonely In Chicago, Happiest Day
Previous Jivewired Review: None
Jivewired Digital One Sheet: Not currently a member of Jivewired

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Purchase:  iTunes | Amazon | Artist Website
Stream:  Artist Website

Track Listing:

01. Talking Underwater 4:10
02. Just Go 3:37
03. Hip Hip 3:56
04. Cut My Strings 3:35
05. Happiest Day 3:21
06. Green 3:51
07. Save Her 5:21
08. Blink 4:25
09. Lonely In Chicago 3:53
10. Cave In 4:34
11. Fake (Shake It Up) 3:24

Review:

In 2011, burgeoning singer-songwriter Kree Woods released a self-titled EP that garnered local accolades as well as national acclaim thanks to the inclusion of the stand out single Just Go, which was featured on MTV’s The Real World: Las Vegas.  Riding the crest of that success, Woods recently released her debut full-length Talking Underwater, an album which showcases stirringly melodic performances and radio-friendly compositions that will serve to further illuminate this talented and beautiful singer-songwriter’s star.  More so, Kree Woods offers an incredible vibe on this album, a perfect balance of wondrous enlightenment, jangling joy, lighter, retro-pop soul sexiness and deep introspection.  And what more would you expect?  Woods offers the total package:  great looks, intelligent songwriting, decent guitar chops, a charming, unforgettable voice and a compelling indie pop release.

Part of this album’s charm is that it’s songs flow easily and sweetly, filled with imperceptible and ingratiating melodies that are timely delivered with heartfelt warmth and a more than just casual charisma.  This ultimately proves endearing.  Though some of the songs like Save Her and Cave In are a little deeper, Woods manages to sweep the slightly colder and conspicuously sullen aspects of the music to the side, focusing on the delivery of the lyrics in equal measure to the content.  By doing so, each of those songs is given a tiny lift.  By using perfectly timed inflection and by expanding her upper range at precise moments, Woods breathes life into both word and music.  As we connect with her message, we find ourselves completely immersed in the beauty of her expression.  It is that emotional connect that allows us to be participants rather than simply listeners. 

It’s hard to say where the music on this album fits in however.  Though some of it is pop-friendly, at times it tends to skew a little more contemporary.  In that aspect it feels a little more like vintage Fleetwood Mac, and indeed, comparisons to Christine McVie would be completely warranted, if not in sound, certainly in vibe and feel.  That being said, more than a few of the songs on Talking Underwater certainly have mainstream radio appeal, especially the title song which builds to a delicious, upbeat close.  Still, it’s hard not to find a place for someone who possesses such a wonderful voice.  Just Go offers Kree Woods at her best vocally and exudes a quiet confidence in her ability to perfectly harmonize. Not sure if it was double-tracked or if Kree employs back up singers or utilizes a combination of both, but the vocals on Just Go are sublime throughout. Other pop-friendly songs include Hip Hip and Cut My Strings.  Probably the most exuberant song on the album is it’s closing cut, Fake (Shake It Up)Lonely In Chicago is my favorite song on this album, though most will enjoy the more upbeat songs a little more.

If Kree Woods’ self-titled EP announced to the world that this singer-songwriter is a legitimate indie-pop force, then Talking Underwater surely offers a bit more of a star quality to her music – it is an LP that expands on endearing sentiment and charming expression that remains both genuine and sincere.  This release amplifies all those qualities that have graduated Woods from humble, coffee-house singer beginnings to blossoming mainstream songstress.   There’s a sweeping feeling to these songs that borders on grandeur, yet Woods manages to remain remarkably intimate thanks to her precise vocal delivery.  Rarely does an independent album sound so confidentially assured, so polished and so wonderfully agreeable.

About Kree Woods:



NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville indie/pop singer-songwriter and “promising talent” (Music Connection) Kree Woods released her full length debut Talking Underwater on April 9th, 2013 on Zodlounge Records, with distribution through ToneTree.

Talking Underwater builds upon Kree’s unique indie/pop sound established on the Nashville native’s 2011 self-titled EP Kree Woods. The album peaked at #10 on the iTunes “singer/songwriter” chart creating ripples throughout the industry as Hits Daily Double noted, “Nashville has a richly deserved rep as a hot bed for talent on the hoof, and you add this immensely promising young indie/pop songwriting artist to the list. Kree is starting to generate quite a buzz down there, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on her as she progresses.”

And last year, the EP earned a stop in Music Connection’s “Top 25 New Music Critiques of 2012,” “[“Chance Happening”] this altogether catchy tune glides amid a world of sunshine… all of her backups, including the warm and wonderful bassline, serves the song’s mellow changes and allows Woods’ optimism to radiate… a promising talent.”

The EP’s standout track “Cave In,” featured on MTV’s The Real World: Las Vegas and in a Brite.com 2012 sampler, also appears on Talking Underwater.

In March, Kree previewed songs in Austin, Texas during SXSW at the Dizzy Rooster and at the Thirsty Nickel.  In May she will be embarking on a U.S. tour.