Karen O has the voice of a woman, but sings (gloriously) like a child. It is a quality evident in her work on the soundtrack to 'Where the Wild Things Are', and the reason she was such a perfect choice for the project. Her voice has a wildness to it, and a childlike honesty that has been absent from music since long before we were born. Listening to her work is most definitely an other-worldly, transporting experience.
This also creates a stark contrast when the work has a distinctly adult moment, such as in 'Rapt', the second track on her new record 'Crush Songs', when the youthful purity is cut with profanity. It creates the same feeling you get when you hear a child swear, but the language that would usually be aggressive becomes beautiful, and a part of the poem.
'Crush Songs' is intimate, whispered, feverish, breathless, shouted, hurried, stammered, desperately lustful and razor sharp; everything a crush is. Listening to the record, I feel certain that this ethereal and macabre voice coming through the speaker is actually coming from a dark hillside somewhere; with the bare branches of trees and a large American moon. There is darkness, and white light in the sound itself, and in the simplicity of the recording.
Continue reading: Karen O - Crush Songs Album Review