Release Date: Aug 13, 2012
Record label: Mercury
Despite having an “inimitable voice” (CLANG), Karima Francis attracts comparisons to Tracy Chapman and Joan Armatrading – possibly something to do with the Blackpool lass shunning the current vogue for Victorian waifs in favour of an aesthetic best described as ‘uncommonly stylish indie boy’. Fortunately, there’s also grounding in her music, which is solid singer-songwriter fare with more longing than your teenage years. This second album can be affecting – ‘Days Like These’ is a stirring anti-anthem, while ‘Wherever I Go’ laments separation elegantly – but there’s nothing as transcendent as ‘Fast Car’ or ‘Love And Affection’.Nick Levine .
Karima FrancisThe Remedy[Mercury; 2012]By Brendan Frank; August 23, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetHave you ever seen that SNL skit in which Jon Lovitz gets trapped in a secluded cabin with Jewel? That’s kind of what Karima Francis sounds like on The Remedy. Her voice, while her greatest asset, is also overworked, and leaves her middling skill as a songwriter out in the cold. The British singer-songwriter’s follow-up to 2009’s The Author puts forth an unforgivably weak effort to build a name for itself or construct a distinctive sound.
The song titles on Karima Francis's second album highlight the feeling of familiarity that runs through it: it is brave to invite comparison to those other Glory Days, Stays and Crazys by borrowing their names. While it would be ridiculous to suggest this should be in the same league, there is a classic late-night, soft-rock template at play here that has mainstream US radio in its sights. It's balladeering in the Damien Rice range, buoyed by Francis's spectacular voice, though it is hard to shake the sense that some of the awe she can inspire live is muted by conservative production.
There may not be a more personal album released in 2012. John Aizlewood 2012 Things could have been so different. In 2009, the world seemed to be Karmia Francis’ for the taking when the Blackpool songstress was anointed as the one to watch by a slew of giddy critics who fell for her deep-voiced, emotionally raw, sparsely produced, Tracy Chapman-like confessionals.