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Kandia: Inward Beauty/Outward Reflection

A friend pointed me in the direction of Portuguese band Kandia. She said I should give their album a listen. And so I did. (Always nice to get a friend's recommendation on 'new' music).

Kandia is made up of Nya Cruz, lyricist and vocalist; Andre' Cruz, guitars and songwriting; Bernardo Lima, on bass; and Daniel Silva, on drums. J.P. Leppaluoto sings duet vocals on 'Reflections'.

This album ignites and never smolders from the 'Intro' opening through the closer 'Waste My Time'.

'Paranoia' kicks things into gear full speed with revving electric lead guitar, pulsating bass, and rocking drums. Ok, let's talk about Nya Cruz's voice. She commands the stage despite all the electricity raging around her. Lyrics like, "Take a good look around you. No-one else will live your life. You give your best 'cause you think everybody's watching you. But no-one gives a damn if you succeed or you get screwed". Yah, she has a powerful delivery without screeching. Her lower voice range fits the delivery of the blasting powder floating around her. One of the best tracks on the album.

'Into Your Hands' really brings Cruz's voice to fruition. She delivers the lyrics, "Let me fall into your hands. Take me up, make me shine again", set to heavy power guitars, blinding bass and hammering drums. The guitar work on this track and album is some of the best I have heard so far this year. The production work on mixing this album is excellent. You can feel as well as hear every note so clearly despite the power and volume.

Finally some keyboards shine through on 'Hold On To Me'. Those far off electric guitar chords are excellent. With Cruz's soft and lovely voice this time delivering the lines, "I'm nothing without you, you can't just fade away. Just hold on to me, promise you will stay. Open your arms. There's just so much that you've been missing out". The emotion is real, and the power with which she delivers it will remain with you long after the song ends.

'Inwards', the first part of the album's title opens with powerful heavy electric axes and bass complemented by Cruz's voice singing, "Step inside, let me show you what we're made of…why we need it". Yah, this is another power chord masterpiece. The drums almost cannot keep up with the power of the lead and bass electrics. P..o..w..e..r.

'All I Need To Know' is a tough break up song. The blasting power of those guitars and drums will leave you wanting to put this track on repeat.

'Reflections', the second section of the title track opens with a cool guitar riff and drums before Cruz joins in with, "I look at you and see myself. If I touch my skin, I'm touching you. All the tears in your eyes are like water to me. When I cry my eyes dry up instantly". Yah, powerful lyrics set to a duet with J.P. Leppaluoto. There are some very memorable guitar riffs and sounds on this track as well.

'Y.S.L.E.', (You Should Love Each…Other). Yah, but this is not just another love song. With lyrics like, "You should know you play with fire when you love all by yourself. You should love each other, not hurt one another". The power chords fill the air and the drums rumble. Listen to Nya...as she whispers the lyrics. ;^)

'Love Me As I Am' opens with deep piano melodies and you immediately sense this track will be epic. Cruz's voice is at its peak on this album. The moral in the lyrics makes this the best track on the album. "If they could love me as I am. That's all I ever asked". Powerful beyond words. Strong emotions fill the air along with those heavy power electric chords.

Brilliant new electric guitar riffs open 'Rise '09' well. Then its Cruz's show. One of her fastest vocal deliveries. Did I say power? I guess I forgot to mention confidence. But yes she has it. "When you become, what you've become, you know you'll rise. You Rise, You Rise, You take control and Rise again". Rise? Indeed Nya. ;^)

'Waste My Time' is the epic closer at over five and a half minutes. And it opens as all good epic closers should, full of power and magnificence. The guitar work here is some of the best on the album. Besides, some of the other tracks mentioned this may be the best and most powerful track. Hope they go further in this direction on the next album. That Middle eastern guitar hum is excellent. Cruz's rapping vocal is also a wonderful treat. The percussion and Mid-East theme is just fantastic. Please do it again.

This album at times reminds me of Karnivool's last album, musically, only with a female lead singer…and that is a vast improvement already. Like hearing Manuela Kraller for the first time last year. This album was an excellent surprise and wonderful gift.

People don't waste any more time reading. Get out and buy this album and enjoy listening to it. ;^)

Track Listing:

01. Intro
02. Paranoia
03. Into Your Hands
04. Hold On To Me
05. Inwards
06. All I Need To Know
07. Reflections [feat. J.P. Leppaluoto]
08. Y.S.L.E.
09. Love Me As I Am
10. Rise '09
11. Waste My Time
12. Reflections [Radio Edit]

Added: February 13th 2013
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Score:
Related Link: Kandiamusic.com
Hits: 1842
Language: english

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