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Kindness’ Otherness

Posted on the 31 October 2014 by Thewildhoneypie @thewildhoneypie

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Despite the obvious criticisms it’s attracted over the years, I’ve always maintained the belief that pop music can produce some of the best music a human ear can absorb if it’s approached from the right direction and with good intentions. One man who’s helped further solidify this belief in recent years is Adam Bainbridge, a whimsical looking British musician who’s own belief in pop music has yielded some fantastic results thus far.

Otherness is the second album Bainbridge has released under the name Kindness, and for those who enjoyed its predecessor, it’s good news all round as his latest offering is cut from a similar cloth. For those perhaps just learning of Kindness, then what awaits you is a soulful, heartfelt and intelligently designed concoction of nostalgic sounds, repackaged into an uber cool, catchy and fresh representation of what great pop music sounds like.

Throughout its concise 46 minute run time, Otherness packs in smoldering saxophones, sweeping vocal melodies and tender piano chords…amongst other things. It’s opening stage is concerned with the more upbeat end of the spectrum, throwing out some deliciously funky bass grooves, uplifting melodies and percussive beats that tip their hat to dance music of the early 90’s and old school Hip Hop. But it’s not all swinging house party jams that Kindness is kicking out. The album’s shape changes significantly in the latter half when Bainbridge undertakes a slower, sweeter and more intimate pace. If “This Is Not About Us” serves as a stellar example of how Kindness can make you dance like nobody’s watching, then “Geneva” is proof that he can cut closer towards your heart. Built primarily on simmering gospel organs, stirring piano notes and layered vocals washing over repeated lyrics, “Geneva” is the most naked track on the album, yet in its simplicity there shines something truly emotive.

Kindness is by no means reinventing the wheel when it comes to pop music, nor is he radicalizing its design or intent, but he more than meets the criteria I look for within the genre. Whether it be danceable or decidedly close to melancholy, everything that Adam Bainbridge showcases on his sophomore LP is approached from a truly fascinating place with only the best intentions in hand.

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