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Polish and Vision

By Kim DiVincenzo

Self-released: 2006

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This review first appeared in the June 15, 2006 issue of the North County Times.

Kim DiVincenzo's new EP has only six songs – but what songs! Presenting an intelligent yet melodic approach to pop-folk, San Diego's DiVincenzo (who has recently shorted her family name to Divine for her music) has crafted an independent debut with all the polish and vision of a major label release.

With DiVine's rich, expressive voice and intoxicating melodies (she wrote all the songs here), producer Keith Orfanides had a lot to work with. Still, the production levels on this release have to be heard to be believed. The opening track, "Home (Stickin' Around)" features multilayered vocal harmonies, echoed guitar chords, and a haunting introduction on violin augmented by a minimalist rhythm on drums before DiVine's haunting vocals join in on the verse. By the time the song expands into the breathtakingly lovely chorus, this first track is awfully darn close to pop music perfection.

Spare guitar passages on "Broken" are as effective as the vocal harmonies were on the first track at setting a mood; a dark piano intro on "Far Away" also immediately creates an atmosphere for that track.

Throughout the album, the songwriting, the arrangements and the production are far above what one would expect from a first release by a young artist just starting out.