Reality TV juggernaut ‘The Voice’ recently rolled out its inaugural season on Channel 9 to impressive numbers. In a world populated by Idols and X Factor contestants, standing above the myriad of sounds, styles and record company restraints is a tough task. Season one winner Karise Eden immediately followed her triumph with the now standard winner’s compilation My Journey.
Blessed with the rasp of the late Janis Joplin, with touches of Joss Stone and Nikka Costa, Eden’s 13 song debut is a compilation of studio performances from her triumphant run under mentor Seal’s guidance, mixed with covers of tracks that have inspired the 19 year old on her path to soul.
Gifted with such a soulful, powerful set of pipes Eden belies her age and the thematic material of the songs covered here and would sound out of place without the bruised, raw delivery, which is lived, not trained. Her bluesy take on ‘Hound Dog’ is based upon the original Big Mama Thorton 1952 version and delivers the smokey bar atmosphere that enhances her performance. This feel is replicated in tracks such as the 1968 The Band classic ‘The Weight’ and Amy Winehouse’s triumphant ode to heartbreak ‘Back To Black’.
Stripping back the production on a powerful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s masterpiece ‘Hallelujah’ to a single guitar and vocal is gripping, inspired and utterly breathtaking. The acoustic technique is similarly applied to a peaceful cover of Fleetwood Mac’s iconic ‘Landslide’ and reminds the listener that the sheer power of her vocal is equally matched by a worldly lament that is captivating.
The two original offerings, the winner’s single ‘ You Won’t Let Me’ is Renee Geyer grit via Adele’s heartbreak and is an assured track on its own merit. ‘I Was Your Girl’ is penned by Eden and is a clear indication of the path she intends to take, a modern woman with an intriguing tale to tell through soul and blues. The honesty on display is sublime and gives hope that with the right people and time to develop her craft Eden could transcend beyond her TV accolades and become a global force to be reckoned with.
Karise Eden is a deserved winner and as an introduction to her talent ‘My Journey’ is a pleasant, sometimes compelling debut, time will tell if such talent can find the original material and production to truly shine on her own.