Friday, July 20th, 2018

Kimbra x Dawn – Version of Me

Two cult faves unite…


Will Adams: “There’s a better version of me,” Kimbra sang on the piano-driven original, and she wasn’t wrong. The swelling chord progression gets its complementary arrangement thanks to Dawn Richard. As if in a perpetual climb, the pair’s voices wrap around each other as they both wrap around the song, swirling across the stereo field. Only in the last thirty seconds does that swirling coalesce into a pulse, but it’s the most satisfying outcome; what was once a plea is now a promise delivered.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: This is so stately and deliberately paced that when the drums finally kick in, with less than a minute left in the song, it feels like you’re being suddenly jarred awake from some beautiful trance. But it’s that break that makes the song, adding much needed textures and confusion to what would’ve otherwise been almost too staid.

Stephen Eisermann: Their voices and choice in ad-kind contrast well, but the real magic comes from the way each woman delivers her interpretation. Dawn takes a sultrier, heavier approach while the cry in Kimbra’s voice makes her delivery seem more like a plea of acceptance. It’s all so dramatic and vulnerable, but exhilarating too. 

Micha Cavaseno: Arguably this duet on paper makes a certain amount of sense; two singers who make a left-field pop that is critically adored by certain circles and displays massive ambitions but never quite penetrates outside of their enduring cult audiences. However, it should not translate into Dawn being the solid rock around Kimbra’s vocalizing oceanics. In general the record’s point of coalesce feels like a poor pay-off, and while I’m sure a proper display of chemistry could really set things off, I don’t hear it occuring for this shot.

Alfred Soto: The arrangement won’t climax, Dawn and Kimbra don’t blink, and Olivier Assayas will be calling them to use “Version of Me” as opening credits for a possible Personal Shopper sequel. 

Hazel Southwell: Dawn Richard is one of the most versatile and interesting artists I’ve ever closely followed, Kimbra is the woman who was on the Gotye track but surely has her own interesting career. Spotify forced this upon my ears with the urgency it realises I am interested in any Dawn Richard release and this is as glorious as I’d expect from that, as much as I’m not sure I’d hear where Kimbra comes from on it. Version of Me is a hymnal, interpolated ode to begging for investment — there’s a better version of me, stay for the person I’ll be — that holds itself back only to never getting less than 100% moody. It’s your Twitter drafts folder, the WhatsApp messages written on airplane mode you never intend to send, and it’s an emotional loan you’re indebted to the fantasy of longer than you could ever get anyone else to buy into. Dawn’s confessional has always been acute and if Kimbra is an also-collaborated here, that’s not really any kind of offence. Not a banger, of course but I am fully into women artists writing emotionally gory, non-banger tracks that force you to focus on the atmosphere and pain given *gestures broadly* the last century or so.

Reader average: [9] (3 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

One Response to “Kimbra x Dawn – Version of Me”

  1. maxwell otm; i like this in theory more than in practice