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Single Review: Kelsie Kimberlin – “Fruit Basket”

Though it’s powerful, to say the least, even the passion espoused in the vibrantly exotic introduction that greets us at the onset of “Fruit Basket” can’t match the emotion in Kelsie Kimberlin’s voice as she begins to serenade us in these opening bars that open her new colorful music video and single.

An energy that she can dish out like no one’s business is taking center stage in this performance, and no matter what she does, where she goes, who she sees, or what this melody that she’s taking out for a spin has to say, there’s just no getting away from the potency of the mood as we sink deeper and deeper into the clutches of this track. There’s a piece of her heart emitted from the speakers that is meant to draw us closer, and within the context of her singing, we find an everlasting desire to cut loose lying just beneath the surface of a rather thoughtful and charismatic arrangement’s


In the chorus, the girth of the percussion starts to slip through the cracks and enter the master mix with one mission; defining the sway of the rhythm with as much oomph as possible. With the bassline there to assist, the drums do everything we need them to whilst Kimberlin layers the melodies atop one another in a lyrical climax that forces us to keep moving our hips. The volume swells as all of the instruments find a collective groove and the mix seems to get all the tighter, which doesn’t take any of the attention away from Kimberlin but instead magnifies just how gilded a growl she’s got at the microphone here.



The refrain moves away from the established rhythm of the chorus and tears at the consistency of the beat that acts as a foundation for the main verses. Kimberlin’s voice keeps climbing in an angelic show of strength, and just when it seems like she’s about to take off like a rocket, she reins herself in and returns to the balanced rigidity that started us off at the beginning of the track. The instruments crash into each other; the melodies regain a bit of traction against the bottom end, and the percussion guides us all into the sunset in one sweeping sonic release.

“Fruit Basket” undeniably pummels us with a lot of different elements at once, and although it’s got a couple of compositional contradictions that might not fit in with the mainstream model as it currently stands in pop music, it’s not even remotely close to the realm of inaccessibility regardless of how we break down its structure – mostly thanks to the charm this lead singer has every time she belts out a verse. Kelsie Kimberlin has a huge voice that is capable of expressing emotions that linguistics alone often fall short of conveying, and with a powerful groove by her side, she gives up one of the more moving performances of January in this single. I wasn’t very familiar with her work before hearing “Fruit Basket” for the first time, but I plan on tracking her future releases as they come forth.


Julie Blankenship


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