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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Image © INO Records 2005

More Kara Williamson


(10 July 2005) Kara Williamson has performed all over the United States with her family's Gospel group since the ripe old age of three and during her late teens/early twenties she toured relentlessly. After singing backup for major artists Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and Point of Grace, performing with her family throughout her life, and releasing a debut that didn't quite fit anywhere, Kara Williamson is on track to become one of music's brightest stars. Read more about Kara in our interview.

Kara released her debut album in 2002 as one of Vertical Music's cutting edge artists. The album was dominated by dance and electronica sounds that rivaled what artists like Madonna were doing and received critical acclaim. Her sophomore album, Undisguised is released on her new label, INO Records (Sara Groves, CeCe Winans) and there is no doubt that more people will take more notice this time around.

Undisguised (INO Records (USA), 2005) is a radio friendly blend of intimate lyrics and pop rock sounds that will make everyone want to sing along. It's got a little bit of edge, a little bit of soul, and a lot of beauty throughout its eleven tracks. It is is not only a shift in record labels for Kara, but more importantly a huge shift in sound.

Musically Undisguised has little in common with Kara's debut album. In fact, in many ways they are polar opposites. The cutting edge electronic approach heard on her debut is all but gone on Undisguised. The electronics are replaced with more guitar driven sound--although there is no shortage of piano on the album either--that will certainly widen her appeal. The Beatles-esque, piano-driven, "Dear Performer" and the triumphant modern rock approach to the album's title track introduce longtime fans to a different side of Kara. Undisguised covers a lot of musical ground and is probably a lot more reflective of Kara as an artist.

Songs like the straight ahead rocker "Bring It On" and the somber "Wounded King" act as firm reminders of why Kara is an artist worth watching. Kara's voice is very powerful --yet still very feminine--on these two songs in particular and if nothing else catches your attention these songs will for sure. Her lyrical approach to Undisguised is much the same as before, however the lyrics here display a lot more maturity. The lyrics seem a bit deeper on this album; there aren't so many Christian clichés.

Kara shows tremendous growth on Undisguised and fans of such artists as Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, and even Switchfoot will find plenty to love about Undisguised. Sometimes an album just perfectly captures amoment in an artist's career and on Undisguised, Kara sounds like an artist finding where she belongs.--Mark Fisher in West Virginia

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