Kaoruko Pilkington transcends genre and scores a relatively solid release with Bright Side Of My Life.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
I'll say it...I am brutal on female vocalists especially when they work off seemingly the same catalog and for the most part the same session players. Pilkington has some up ticks with Bright Side Of My Life, deep catalog and intriguing arrangements. These same positives can also immediately make one think of lounge singer or cruise ship entertainer. Pilkington can sing yet the chops are still somewhat under construction. Tunes such as "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" and "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" scream cabaret and not in a good way. "On A Clear Day" is simply part of the easy listening starter kit assembled here. The arrangements cover a variety of genres giving no real clue as to who Pilkington is as an artist as she has the skills to annihilate multiple genres before reaching the half way point of the disc. Pick a genre and stay with it otherwise the audience will immediately begin to feel disengaged as they too are searching for where your lyrical wheelhouse may be.
Talented? Yes. Memorable? No...like chewing gum as you burn through the flavor quickly. I am always amazed at independent talent that can come up with roughly 30 large to do a record that everyone knows is destined to flat line straight out of the box.
Am I being too harsh? Music is a business, period. Vocal artistry died with Sarah Vaughn. Musical theatre, cabaret settings and resort hotels are all niches Pilkington can easily fill and in all probability make a nice living. A recording artist? No...Not even close.
Slightly better than average, 3.5 Stars.