Kama Ruby – “Mistake” single
I’ve not heard of Kama Ruby before. I’m always on the look-out for interesting and effective female performers, so I feel that I’ve been missing out on something worthwhile. This single features a couple new songs from the artist in anticipation of her third album. Kama Ruby’s sound has a lot of nods to jazz traditions, but doesn’t seem tied to that type of sound. She manages to work wonders in a musical zone that wanders around it. I guess you could say that she does that in a similar way to Steely Dan, but this doesn’t sound like Steely Dan. It just occupies a similar jazz-inspired territory.
With “Mistake,” Ruby creates her own version of a Moby tune. There is a lot of real emotion built into the lyrics and her vocal delivery on this version helps to realize that. The music here seems to flirt with jazz, but it has more of a tendency toward electronic music.
Of course, if you set this version alongside the original, it’s positively pure jazz. I tend to think that the electronic elements here are more of an homage to the sound of Moby’s version of the song. They do bring a different depth and character to it when paired with those jazzy components.
The other cut of this single is “Treasure Island.” While Ruby didn’t write the song, (Jane Getz and Jon Strider did) I think that aspect of this song deserves some attention. In fact, I think the lyrical aspect is particularly impressive. The song is based on the Robert Louis Stevenson book at its heart. The clever twist to it, though, is that those references are laid out as a metaphor for more personal real life situations. I don’t think I’ve ever heard an original version of this, assuming there is one, but based on those lyrics I’d be interested in checking it out.
Musically “Treasure Island” is generally a mellower piece of music. The vocals are clear and soaring. Ruby shows that she has the pipes to really deliver some stunning vocal work. While I prefer the first song to this one, there are certainly selling points to this one.
I’m definitely interested in hearing the whole new album from Kama Ruby. I find the sounds here have piqued my interest. I’ll be looking into her earlier releases, too. She has a lot of talent, and I like her style.
Mary Angela Tobin