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Album Review: Nightflight

22 April 2012 | 11:43 am | Sarah Scaife

Kate Miller-Heidke is one of those rare musicians who possess the ability to transcend with ease between the realm of commercial and independent music. In the past five years, she has become renowned for her wind-chime voice, thought-provoking lyrics and fearless melodies, thus raising anticipation for her latest work Nightflight.

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Kate Miller-Heidke is one of those rare musicians who possess the ability to transcend with ease between the realm of commercial and independent music. In the past five years, she has become renowned for her wind-chime voice, thought-provoking lyrics and fearless melodies, thus raising anticipation for her latest work Nightflight.

The album begins on a high, with the upbeat pop track Ride This Feeling, but it doesn't take long to change direction. The second song Sarah is adeptly divided, the verses calm and haunting, and the chorus powerful with hysterical wails. For the next three tracks, the album bites into the meat of the poignant love ballad for which she is known, each song pleasant but not quite fulfilling. However, once I'll Change Your Mind is upon us, we are all jerked from the solemn place Miller-Heidke has created in our minds and lifted back into happiness with one of those catchy “oh oh ohhh” melodies. The drums sound like an excited heartbeat and the layered feminine vocals sound like the deluded optimism of love – ironic, considering the song's title. It is possible with distinctive vocalists, however, for their sound to lose impact if heard in large doses, and unfortunately Miller-Heidke does fall into this trap somewhat; she does not fully explore the extent of her vocal ability, her range inhibited by the predictability of pop.

While she does indeed create a healthy dichotomy between happy and sad, the acme of each emotion is never quite reached. Indeed, Nightflight does adequately capture the essence of her style – while littered with a few stark gems – but it does not completely flaunt the talent we know her for.