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Kinnie Starr’s five previous albums have run the gamut from indie rock to rap to pop to singer/songwriterly acoustic guitar. The Calgary musician’s sixth is decidedly hip-hop-influenced, albeit with a firm foothold in electronica – which actually isn’t too far from the hip-hop mainstream these days. Written, produced and engineered by Starr, the album turns popular rap on its head, trading in the genre’s ever-present male-fuelled/male-ruled sexuality for a female perspective on desire.
The empowering Body Like A Queen evokes M.I.A., both in her unapologetic, yelping delivery and the pop beats with an unnerving edge, while Starr is more sprightly on We Just Want To Play, which showcases her chameleon vocals. The title track nods to dancehall, with hints of reggae beats and unshrouded sexual demands (“Kiss it all around before you go downtown”). The sometimes political lyrics never get that deep or philosophical but help make Kiss It a very refreshing listen.
Top track: Body Like A Queen