Dream to Extremes
Perhaps the easiest way to get a critic’s attention, especially that of a jaded music journalist such as myself, is to release an album with one of the oddest album covers in existence. This is what Karli Bonne has done here. There she is floating in space, eyes closed, her hair exploding in a Medusa-like Big Bang of strands. The second step is in recording an LP that is quite unpredictable. I doubt I was the only one surprised by the rapping and metallic guitars of “Going Global,” a Christian call-to-arms.
But in the world of Christian rock, anything is possible. With the focus given on faith-based lyrics, radio stations have the freedom to venture into multiple styles. Nobody is jarred out of their seats when hip-hop is sandwiched between folk and hard rock. Think American Top-40, before it became overwhelmed by glossed-over R&B. So think of Karli Bonne as a human jukebox then, experimenting with a diverse menu.
“Me” is the obvious single here, but that’s depending on what format you’re thinking about. It has an easy-listening feel with ’90s alternative production, more Alanis Morissette than Amy Grant. “New Ways,” on the other hand, offers a glimpse back into ’80s club days, with keyboards reminiscent of early new wave and even Madonna’s first LP.
Unlike other Christian artists, Bonne isn’t afraid to present songs that don’t deal with her spiritual beliefs, such as the title track, which celebrates the limitless possibilities of the imagination. And she certainly walks the talk, as her creativity is in full bloom on this album.
Karlie Bonne: www.karlibonne.com