Takin’ the Time
You’ll like it if…
…you think cheesy is good, but only with an 80s seasoning.
Karesansui, also known as zen garden, is the Japanese rockery garden that tourists often find in temples, when wandering around during their trips. Carol Kleyn’s “Takin’ the time” is the kind of soundtrack that would perfectly suit such a place, if they only allowed any form of “loud” noise. It combines tinkling melodies and backing vocals, acoustic pieces and echoes that create such a thick, and yet delicate music pattern.
This talented US songwriter has been on since the late 60s, thus it is not surprising that her musical approach winks at Joni Mitchell, Grace Slick and all the powerful folk/rock singers of that time. Yet, her music is so intangible that it kicks in with its own original touch, getting some medieval intermissions and sounding almost like a poem of chivalry in music. Being a reissue of a 1980 release, “Takin’ the time” still gets some vintage-nostalgia in songs such as “Prayer”, all about Vietnam War and those meaningful events. However, it is not all about mellifluous vocals and angelic harp reverbs (“Tides & Crazy Moon”, “Intermission”). The album also explores some experimental paths, that would be later undertaken by Tori Amos and Karen Elson, in a mix of playful jazz, cabaret and Dylan-y country-folk (“How Long till Forever” and “Jethro”). Some tracks are soaked in their time, being affected by the 80s pop, still floaty as lullabies, but a bit more ABBA-esque (“She Lost Her Crown”, “Could Be Heaven”).
All in all, this is quite an engaging cross-section of different decades, a time machine that gently takes us back to that time, in which pop was mainstream, cheesy and naïve, and yet you can enjoy this without any guilty complex.