Kim DiVine – This Time Around
Catharsis often gives birth to great artistic moments. The need of a musician, writer, painter, what have you, to work out their private pain in representative art of some sort, has fueled some of the most affecting artistic works produced since prehistoric human first began painting cave walls. Kim DiVine’s seven song collection, This Time Around, is a release of originals accompanied by one bonus remix and makes no bones about its autobiographical origins. The story of This Time Around isn’t one of musical creation alone; it’s also about birth and loss alike. The birth of DiVine’s first child inspired her to take some time off from her musical career and, by the time she returned to the collection, DiVine had watched her mother and step-father die. She would see her father in law die, as well, before her new vision for the release had been finished. The depth on This Time Around was easy to come by and DiVine sounds inspired throughout.
“Maybe Tomorrow” introduces her to novices as a thoughtful songwriter talented enough to arrange evocative soundscapes while likewise adding substantive lyrical content she sings quite beautifully. There’s certainly a lot of pop/mainstream appeal to be heard in her voice and she has a playful style of delivery that’s equally capable of manifesting great emotion. The more imaginative side of her arranging and songwriting talents comes out with the title song “This Time Around”. The percussion is the key here and lays down an intimate and well recorded groove quite unlike anything else on the release. DiVine’s singing proves up to the task of matching its inventiveness and she carries off phrasing here that’s uniquely her own. “Broken Bird” has some great imagery at the heart of the song. The contrast of a vibrant musical performance with relatively wounded and downbeat lyrics has some interesting effects without ever announcing themselves too gaudily. “By Your Side” practically aches with vulnerability.
The clearest harkening back to her folk roots comes with the track “Fancy Things” but, once again, she has such a grip of how to mix the modern and traditional that this comes off as a revamp rather than some tribute piece or imitation. This Time Around ends with the last song DiVine added to the collection, the piano ballad “Where I Am You Are”. It’s a relatively complicated song, particularly lyrically, that can spawn a number of potential meanings for listeners. DiVine makes it pretty clear what the song is about for her and gives us the defining vocal moment on the release. This Time Around definitely spares us nothing in tackling where Kim DiVine finds herself now and how she got there, but it most importantly tells us what she learned along the way, gained, and how it’s changed her for the better. This is catharsis at its finest.