Plain Gold Ring
Label: Warner Records
Kimbra's debut almost sounds like music we know, but the strange siren from Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" turns tropes and trends inside out and upside down. The opening track invites you into a weird new world of hoots, odd harmonies and fuzzy popcorn beats, where pop disguises itself as trip-hop show tunes, spaghetti western doo-wop and off-kilter R&B funk, like Mary J through the looking glass -- or like Prince and Nona Hendryx made a girl group of love children together. It's a breathless, at times even exhausting, romp that breathes giddy new life into music's dead horses.