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After her appearance on The Voice in Holland, it would only be natural to eventually expect an album like this from singer-songwriter Jasmine Karimova. Of Russian descent and English birth, Karimova currently lives in Amsterdam, and her new album From the Womb is far more personal and uniquely identifiable than anything one traditionally identifies with the popular singing competition. Following in the footsteps of her influences like Regina Spektor and St. Vincent, she exists within the usual boundaries of pop music while skewing its conventions and subverting expectations with darkly intimate lyrics.
Although intended as a “coming of age” record, From the Womb is ultimately far more mature and emotionally sophisticated than such a description implies. The album begins with a pair of songs titled “Daddy” and “Mother,” and they’re so completely stripped of any and all pretension that they just about surpass similar trodden ground from artists like Tears for Fears in terms of unvarnished earnestness. Karimova flits effortlessly across multiple genres from the folk of “Little Sister,” to the light, sunny jazz of “Leaving Amsterdam.” What remains is a voice identifiable to her alone in both tone and subject manner, and From the Womb crosses the finish line as a remarkably self-assured minor masterstroke.
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