KARA Is The Queen of RAZZ


The two-disc album – Passion, by KARA, comes with the talents of both Kara Stevens and Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Mark Little. The entire project has been overseen in collaboration with Windmill Valley Recording in Bulverde, Texas. Having written more than 75 songs together it’s not hard to see why the release is a double-set with 24 songs in all.

It’s enough that two such fine artists work together as it is, but they bring with them a lot to behold, and it contains all the magic that only they seem to be able to create together. The first CD is a full band ensemble and CD two is Kara singing and Mark playing piano.

“Booty Call” is almost worth the price of admission, and if this weren’t a two-disc CD, it would be the center of all attention. But there’s way too much here to go that far, it’s just a cut above most of the tracks on the first disc, but don’t let it stop you from what follows because it would be an injustice to hear it and not the rest. It’s just hard to take anything right in after hearing it at first. This is a track that hangs in there with the best to be heard on the airwaves, no matter what the demographic. It has the word “Hit” written all over it. You’ll just have-to see, as there is never any avoiding the first track on an album.

“Duke,” “Friends” and “Everlasting Love” contend with the opening-track, but would never get the placement up front, and that’s just their ability to arrange two sets of songs without losing the directional flow of them. These are all amazing tracks, as there are no fillers to be found on either disc.

The atmospheric noise and harp blowing to open-up “Hot Mama” add a nice distinguished touch of blues to the proceedings. Not only does this cook on piano and all other instruments, but as well as being essentially blues based it manages to highly resemble “Get Ready” by the Temptations. You can’t beat that.

The Band Kara Explores The Power Of Music

It’s hard to comb over every little detail when there is so much to describe on a two-in one release, but what’s not to enjoy here I don’t know. It’s a big plate of groovy from song to song, and they just keep going.

“I Love You” brings a laid-back feel to a serious topic that makes it easy to swallow around the jazzy textures. There’s no classifying it beyond the improvisational approach, while others are done quickly and to the point. These collective elements are what make two artists slice together with a razor sharp-edge. His piano plinks away in the background while she wails over him on this luscious ballad.

To prepare for the second disc, one of the go-to tracks to recommend is the piano-only track “Into The Light” which is a fabulous instrumental by Mark Little that practically takes your breath away and let’s you know a little about what’s coming on the second disc with Kara’s voice to sooth the ears even more. You’ll know why she’s been nominated for a Grammy once you hear this.

“More Precious Than Gold” is where the second disc kicks in and you have no choice but to be graced with the better half-of the release, but that’s not to say both aren’t of the same quality level-produced. You just get two types of greatness out of each.

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  -Todd Bauer