Meet Miss Young and Her All Boy Band (World Domination)
by Clarendon Lavorich
What’s this? Kate Bush in a fever dream-hallucination? Tori Amos on crack? A renegade opera singer on a sonic killing spree? No, silly. It’s Kristeen Young. No mere ripoff, she’s got the voice and the ideas to pull off her debut album, Meet Miss Young and Her All Boy Band. The songs are twisted majestic pop bastardations, complete with lulling melodies and swelling instrumentation. But instead of being merely pretty, she throws in strange notes, odd breaks, and fractured harmonies. Or sometimes, like on “Marley’s Ghost,” she emits blood curdling screams, like the shrieks of a woman being raped. It’s quite disturbing. She’s obviously not afraid to use her voice for things other than beautiful singing (although her voice is gorgeous. Full-voiced operatic soprano, no pronounced quavering, strong as an ox). Kristeen is fully ready to make sounds like robot chirpings, as on “Programme X,” or harsh shouting on “8.” Her ability to switch from one style to another in the blink of an eye adds to the disruptive quality of the music, which her band fully gets behind, changing musical styles as quickly as she changes her vocal style. While Kristeen beats out patterns on her keyboard (almost always a piano sound), a solid bass and drums rhythm section keeps up right behind her, tossing around musical ideas like a frisbee. And guess what? No guitars! Hmm, I guess that’s why she’s got a slight Ben Folds Five sound, too. As far as her lyrical content goes… Whuf. Pretty heavy. Typical robot-mentality themes in atypical words (“If you would knife-slice my sternum open/You’d squint from the sheen of machinery chromium/No crimson”), seduction (“There I am/in his house. His wife’s downstairs/But I want to be anything he wants me to be/I’m fucking stupid”), rebellion (“It’s hard to dodge the ubiquitous view/But rebel, don’t go back to school”), seduction (“She’s going to push your head down/She’ll let you taste where you’re from”), false friends (“`F’ is for the forceps I need to get the truth out of your mouth”), and seduction (“My lips are more than on a chick that chirps/They need a draw through the straw that’ll quench their thirst/Would you think I was a stylish girl if I used my hands?”). Whew. This woman doesn’t kid around. The combination of amazing vocal capabilities, a tight backing band, and decent lyrics make for one hell of an album. The only problem I foresee is, if people don’t actually want to think while listening to music, they won’t like this. A shame, I know, but if we can get enough people together to actually buy the CD, we’ll all be better off.