Katy Kirby: Blue Raspberry (ANTI-) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, April 21st, 2024  

Katy Kirby

Blue Raspberry


Jan 25, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Katy Kirby’s follow-up to her dazzling debut, Cool Dry Place, is equally captivating in spite of a few less lustrous moments. Blue Raspberry explores Kirby’s first queer relationship and in doing so captures the newness of any romance in its tentative first steps through to the messiness of its final throes. Repeated references to cubic zirconias (not to mention lab grown diamonds) and blue raspberries are used as ciphers for the effort to suss out who and what is real when it comes to love.

What Kirby does best on Blue Raspberry is build tiny chamber pop towers of song with a blend of truth, wit, and tenderness that reminds one of hearing Rufus Wainwright’s debut for the first time. The intoxicating swirl of piano and strings that envelop both “Redemption Arc” and “Salt Crystal” set the stage for some of the album’s most devastating moments. Kirby’s soft rain patter cadence in delivering the line “the salt left crystal/on the sunset/of your sunburned skin,” on the latter is one of many sublime moments.

There are a few songs that fall short of Blue Raspberry’s overall mark. Given the deft touch of most of what is here, “Hand to Hand” is a slow-paced trudge and the economics-themed “Drop Dead” takes a while to get going. But, those two sandwich one of Blue Raspberry’s most pointed swipes in “Wait Listen,” the gorgeous unfurling of which reveals the album’s most hard bitten truths. And the title track is equally fine with its reference to the fluorescence of the “lights of the laboratory/she was surely born in,” being one of dozens of Kirby’s patented turns of phrase. In spite of its pondering otherwise, Blue Raspberry is as real as it gets and in its most composed moments a confident step forward. (www.kirbykaty.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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