on 16 October 2000
Kirsty MacColl deserves more recognition, both for the quality of her music and the magic of her lyrics, delivered in a usually gentle voice that still manages to convey a hard edge of bitterness when demanded. The album opens with 'Innocence' - a biting description of someone she obviously has little respect for (with lines like "when you eat no one else does but you always wonder why"). The verbal dexterity is dazzling. 'Don't Come the Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim' is a sad tale of a girl trapped in casual relationships, told with a remarkable sense of rhyme and metre, and 'What Do Pretty Girls Do?' is virtually a short story of the decline and fall of a successful star, now ignored and ridiculed. But it's not all sadness and chagrin: her version of the Kinks' 'Days' is positively uplifting. I could extol the virtues of all the other tracks, but you should discover them for yourself! For me, the only downside is the inclusion of two tracks sung in French. Somehow the language doesn't suit Kirsty's voice, and unless you speak perfect French (I don't!) you'll miss the beauty of her linguistic gymnastics. Still, they are the last two tracks on the album so they are easy to omit. It would have been five stars, but for those two tracks. Is it folk? Is it pop? Does it matter? It's a great album musically and lyrically, and one that I've been playing for ten years without tiring of it.
on 15 December 2002
Kirsty MacColl's 'Kite' is an amazing album. Each song is brought to life by Kirsty's serene, vibrant and unique voice. This is one of those albums where the music speaks to you over time. You won't get the meaning of the songs straight away, that's they joy of Kirsty's strong craftsmanship in creating songs that have meaning.