Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Ké-I Am [ ] (1996)


' Ké 'is the stage name for a guy named Kevin Grivois, another new artist I discovered in the 90's easy-listening music catalog. Right away, I took a liking to his vocal style, which reminds me of something sounding halfway between the lofty, yodeling-style approach of alternative rockers Sarah McLachlan and Alanis Mirssette. Also right away was my curiousity about the significance of the empty brackets in this album's title, which would be revealed to me on the closing title track. But even before that, the eleven songs preceding it served as little clues, as each is a haunting, soul-searching journey deep into his intelligent yet disturbed mind. The excellent songwriting speaks for itself; for instance, Ké makes the pain palpable when he talks about not wanting to know what comes next and having gone a long time without feeling the sun on his face on "I Don't Wanna Go" (and the exotic, moody ambiance definitely gives the song its dark yet delightful glow) while it feels like you're living through his waking nightmare on "Will I Ever Dream?", where he pleads not to be left drowning in tears all alone. I'd already gathered he would be one of those gifted singer/songwriters with the intriguing lyrics upon taking in the opening track, "Strange World". And his singing truly is a gift; aside from the two of my aforementioned favorites—"I Don't Wanna" and "Will I Ever Dream?"—it's a pleasure hearing him performing against the exotic, chilled ambiance and breezy flow to "Someday", the almost spiritual offering, "Don't Walk Away" (the monotonic, unified voices in the beginning and the stilled, heavenly ambiance almost personify death itself), "Lay Down" (wow—the unified vocalists in the chorus on this one are dynamite!) and "Endless Blue (Why)" (I like the slightly ethnic touch with the tribal drum rhythm mixed with the light acoustic guitar and the attractive accordion accompaniment). So that significance of the empty brackets, then? Nothingness. There is nothing, I have nothing, I am nothing—that's what he confesses on the concluding title track, and that is the prevailing theme all throughout this journey of broken heartednes, lost love, sad emotions ad empty feelings:

1. Strange World
2. Someday
3. I Think It's Time
4. I Don't Wanna Go
5. Don't Walk Away
6. Endless Blue (Why)
7. Broken Circles
8. All You Ever Wanted
9. Holding On
10, Will I Ever Dream?
11, Lay Down
12, I Am [ ]

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