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Everybody Got Their Something - Nikka Costa

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Genre: Rock - Pop Rock / Artist: Nikka Costa / Audio CD released 2001-08-13 at Virgin America

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      09.06.2002 21:04
      Very helpful



      'Nikka Who?' happens to be a filler track from Nikka Costa’s debut UK release 'Everybody Got Their Something' which was released last summer, and is probably the instant reaction of anyone when her name is mentioned. Sounding as though she should be served in Starbucks rather than put on your CD player, Nikka turned 30 last week, but has had a long recording career. She is the daughter of Don Costa, who worked with the like of Frank Sinatra, and even had his own orchestra. Raised in Los Angeles, she made several recordings whilst still a youngster, and had varying degrees of success across the globe, although the UK market remained relatively untouched by her precocious talent. She moved to Australia in her twenties, and signed up to Mushroom records, they of the 'Neighbours' theme tune fame. She won a Best New Artist award at the Australian Recording Industry Awards, and was swiftly snapped up by R Kelly's mentor Dominique Trenier for an assault on the charts internationally. 'Everybody Got Their Something' was borne out of a collaboration between Costa (who wrote or co-wrote all of the tracks on the album) and Justin Stanley and Mark Ronson, two respected music producers. The album is a fusion of rock, soul, funk and blues, and is defined by Costa’s distinctive and gravelly vocals. Costa is also a multi-instrumentalist, as you may expect with her background. On this album, she plays both the guitar and the piano! There is more than a hint of psychodelia in there as well, and this is particularly shown on the first single to be taken from it, the retro 'Like A Feather'. However, it's a bit difficult to pigeonhole her, as the songs on the album vary so much. The album of promoted with the help of a support slot with the LA hip-hop act Black Eyed Peas (who’s duet with Macy Gray, 'Request Line' you may know), on their US tour. However, I understand
      that she has never played any gigs in the UK, which may explain her underexposure. 'Like A Feather' is the fantastic album opener, and has been used on a number of adverts and trailers, perhaps most notably on UKPlay's music features. For those of you who vaguely may remember it, it’s the one that goes <increasing> ba-ba-da-ba-da (pause) <decreasing> ba-ba-ba-ba. Yes, I thought you’d know it (ahem...). It was also used in the USA on the Tommy Hilfiger ads, a move which she was apparently reluctant to do, due to the fear of being typecast as a jingle singer. It should have been a smash, especially seeing as it got heavy rotation on the music TV stations. However, sadly, it failed to hit the Top 40... Track two on the album is 'And So Have I For You', an Alanis-type song, but with much more soul. This is another one of the album's high points, and sees the half-Italian star belt it out as hard as she can. The lyrics talk all about preferring the sun to the rain (metaphorically, not literally), and how she’s better off without her man anyway. 'Tug Of War' follows on from this with its melodic start and frantic end, revolving around the refrain 'my soul wants to go one way, but my heart and mind playing a tug of war with me baby'. The fourth track has the same title of the album. It was another single that was released, and the beginning sounds almost exactly like 'Cherry Lips' by Garbage. A bit more dancey than some of the other tracks on the album, it is one of those songs that you just can’t resist clicking your fingers to... It's all about keeping optimistic, and waiting for your moment to shine. I guess this one might be autobiographical, as she has had a bit of a struggle to make herself heard. 'Nothing'is next up, a slow, emotional song about a break-up. A change of pace from the franticness of the first four tracks, it shows
      that she has depth to her voice. After the instrumental filler 'Nikka What', is 'Hope It Felt Good', a Janis Joplin-esque rant that sounds as if it were recorded in the 70's. I think the song lacks a little bit of substance, but is none the less a fine track. The eighth track is one of the highlights – 'Some Kind Of Beautiful' is an optimistic song, with a nagging backing track, along the same lines of 'Everybody Got Their Something'. After the Billie Holliday sounding interlude 'Nikka Who' comes 'Just Because', another slowie. Like a bar lounge song, it meanders along, but is lifted by Nikka's distinctive voice – one part feisty, one part vulnerable. 'Push and Pull' is perhaps the best of the slow songs on the album. It was featured on the soundtrack of the film 'Blow' last year, and is the track that got her the most recognition in the USA. I like the minimal production on it, which contrasts to some of the other arrangements on other tracks. The final track is the epic 'Corners of My Mind', which starts off a bit like the start to the album version of Shara Nelson’s 'Down That Road'. At 5 and a half minutes long, it's a great big bluesy affair, which again shows off her distinctive vocals. About half way through, there is a brilliant crescendo, before gently slipping back into the back end of the song, closing the album with a whisper rather than a bang. Oh yes, and just a word of warning for those who ever purchase the album, there is a hidden applause section about 5 minutes after the last song, which will really freak you out if you’ve accidentally left the CD running in the machine... 'Everybody Got Their Something' is a triumph of a first proper commercial album. I think it was quite brave to go for a very different sound, when she could have quite easily sold out and gone down the soul-
      pop route. Unfortunately, the general public didn’t think so, and it was instead Nelly Furtado who won all the plaudits last year. I picked up my copy of this album for just £1 in a second-hand record shop, but it really is worth a listen if you like female vocals with a bit of a gritty edge. Not as depressing or condescending as Alanis, but not as over-produced and kooky as Nelly Furtado, this is one lady that should have been massive...


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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Like A Feather
      2 So I Have For You
      3 Tug Of War
      4 Everybody Got Their Something
      5 Nothing
      6 Nikka What
      7 Hope It Felt Good
      8 Some Kind Of Beautiful
      9 Nikka Who
      10 Just Because
      11 Push And Pull
      12 Corners Of My Mind

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