Archetype Cafe

Talis Kimberley

Marchwood Media, 2000

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


There's very little reason on the surface to be a music reviewer for "The Daily Vault". There's not much material remuneration, every low grade will bring you a small tempest of email telling you how stupid you are (I wonder if the Eric Alexandrakis fan club is still offering a reward for my head?), and you listen to a lot of mediocre music.

The reason you do it is simple. Every so often you get to listen to a CD that shows you just how far the envelope can be pushed; a CD that shows you just how my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 good a musician can be. Talis Kimberley's Archetype Café is that kind of CD; a cold shower, a brisk walk, a shock to the system made complacent by a plethora of singer-songwriters. She's good. She's damned good.

It's hard to compare Kimberley to anyone. There's some Kate Bush, but she neatly avoids the histrionic primal screaming that mars Bush's worst work. There's some Loreena McKinnitt, but unlike McKinnitt, Kimberley seems capable of functioning in the real world. There's even a little Joni Mitchell, without Mitchell's self-indulgent maudlinity.

In short, she's all the good bits without the bad bits, and fundamentally Talis Kimberley is her own voice, complex, lyrical, and multi-talented. Archetype Café is a CD where Helen of Troy gives Jeanne d'Arc some friendly advice, the twin threads of spirituality and sensuality interweave, and dark riders on mysterious roads mingle with ordinary broken hearts.

Despite the quality, it's easy to pick out a few tracks as the crème de la crème. "Small Mended Corners" may be the best song I've ever heard about life and growth. "A Prayer For Santa Lucia" is incendiary and sensual. "Pale Shamen" has some wonderful acoustic guitar work, which leads me to congratulate Kimberley's backing band, Mystical Beasts, for being very talented. I also commend Kimberley and Simon Fairbourn for some of the best production and engineering I've ever heard on a small independent release.

Look, it's easy for me to wax lyrical with a quiver of five dollar words shot too far from the gold. The facts remain: Archetype Café. Excellent CD. Early contender for 2001's top ten. Log on to the web site, convert your currency to England's if it's not already, and buy it. There are few enough bards left in England.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2001 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Marchwood Media, and is used for informational purposes only.