Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Strange Song" takes Cohen's to Nadia Kazmi's world

Nadia Kazmi - "Strange Song"
Zero to One
-out now
3 / 5

Mondo props to Miss Kazmi for conjuring the idea: take Leonard Cohen's songs, set them to a guitar rock beat, and just pound the living indie out of them. And when you get something like her smoky, sultry "I'm Your Man," then there's no denying that there's something special in this young singer. Nadia strikes the right amount of sensuality and gloominess, and when that guitar hooks you on "True Love Leaves No Traces," we're sure you'll be smitten by an old white guy's music. There's no doubt here that Kazmi adores the old coot, or at least his music, which helps this album enormously. Nonetheless, that's not to say it's perfect: true to indie form, she hits some "juicy notes" in the opener, and much of the album strikes the same dark, gloomy mood. As an experiment in Cohen, it's fabulous and entertaining; as an album on the shelf, it's a shade too monochromatic, which is strange considering how vibrant the music should be. "Strange Song" on the whole doesn't disappoint, not if you've been waiting for new interpretations of some true classics, but it doesn't surprise, either (at least not from an indie point of view). What a brilliant idea!; just wish we loved it.

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