She has the voice of Amy Winehouse matched with the chilling roughness of Janis Joplin, but it’s what brews within Karise Eden’s soul that makes her one of Australia’s greatest rhythm and blues singers.
Born To Fight doesn’t disappoint; it’s filled with the flair you’d expect from an up and coming singer, especially one that possesses a distinctive voice. Karise Eden shares a side of herself that we haven’t seen. A bold self. The first three songs come across as rock ballads, which is a different take from what her fans would usually expect. There’s a power in a woman – especially a young woman – who freely swears in a song. Most times swearing is an unnecessary extra, but not here. Whoever is fucking with her head really needs to stop, lest they face the wrath.
Following the first three feel-good ragers, the album then transcends into a new kind of rhythm and blues that seemed to have arrived in the last decade; think Paloma Faith or even Adele. The best of these four soulful songs is Gimme Your Love. It showcases the range and depth of Karise’s spellbinding voicebox while affording all the feels within the lyrics. The purposeful beat could also lead to an unconscious tapping of the feet.
If you’re an old-school Karise Eden fan, you’d be better acquainted with her final three songs which really encapsulates the good ol’ rhythm and blues that she is recognised for. In her blind audition on channel 9’s The Voice in 2012, we bore witness to a sound that was ultimately unique with Karise’s rendition of the song “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”. Since winning the show Karise released a new album, featuring the slow and emotional song “You Won’t Let Me”. And let’s not forget her powerful rendition of “Stay With Me Baby”, which sounds way better than the original versions.
While you won’t get something like “Stay With Me Baby” in this album, they are still wonders that give shine to her raspy and beautiful voice. There’s a cool, carefully collected indifference within the chords of “Maybe You Can Love Me Anyway”. It goes back to the roots of what RnB really stands for: a swaying rhythm matched with wholesome blues.
We can only hope that she discovers the right sides of herself so we can be granted with a whole album of stay with me baby’s; and by the sounds of this album, it’s closer than she probably thinks. All she needs to do is reach out, take hold and not let go.