“90s Music” – the first single from Kimbra’s The Golden Echo – is a misleading introduction in more ways than one. The off-kilter danciness of the track reminds me of Kanye West’s “Power”, in that it’s the kind of pop song that manages to combine infectious glee with intentional abrasiveness; it simultaneously sounds like it should be atop the charts and that it shouldn’t have ever made it to pop radio.
There’s nothing else like “90s Music” on The Golden Echo, but I suppose that isn’t especially surprising when there are few songs like “90s Music”, period. The title is somewhat misrepresentative too: aside from “Nobody But You” – which could have easily been (over) produced two decades ago – Kimbra’s sophomore record takes more inspiration from the 70s and 80s. The Golden Echo does remind me of the 90s in one respect; much like the pop records I grew up with, it’s a record that relies on a handful of excellent pop songs rather than forming a cohesive whole.