On her own

Recently I had a chance to hear the cut “While I Wait” from Kim Hopper’s solo project, Imagine. I had high hopes for the song, since I’ve been thinking a lot about her voice lately. The Greene’s 10th Anniversary Live project that I’m still thoroughly enthralled with really brings into stark relief how much Hopper’s voice has changed - for better and for worse. On the better side, her high notes have become much less nasally, and her transition between registers is more fluid and natural. On the worse side, her upper-register force has overpowered much of the sweetness and lilting simplicity her voice possessed in her early twenties (see those wonderful beginning bars of “When I Knelt,” from the Live project). Hopper seems to have subscribed, inadvertently perhaps, to the dramatic diva philosophy of vocal performance … whereby one throws one’s head back, puts a hand in the air and shoots for the moon while the sequins in one’s dress twinkle and glitter. Often, this comes off spectacularly, but there’s seem to be more screaming and wailing in her performances of recent years that really is cause for at least a little moment of grief. Still, all that being said, it was frankly surprising (and disappointing) to me how unremarkable her voice seemed absent the Hoppers ensemble on this solo cut, or maybe it was just the ho-hum song itself, a heavily gated tune that seemed to rely too much on beefy guitars (for an sg artist anyway) and flashy BGVs to mask the melodic and lyrical ordinariness (for another take, see here). But I haven’t heard the entire project. Anybody out there heard it and have any thoughts?

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