There aren’t many artists that possess the personality Kelsie Kimberlin does when she’s working a groove like the one we find in her latest single “Fruit Basket,” a track out this January and has already received plenty of buzz from critics and pop insiders on the strength of its well-toned arrangement and sexy beat. Kimberlin sings of an unmatched passion in “Fruit Basket;” in spirit, it’s a song about celebrating rhythm as much as it is demonstrating the depth this singer has in the fiercest moments of the song. It’s a bruiser of a dance piece, and it’s more than worth your time if you like to move with a solid groove.
Right from the get-go, the hook is a massive tour de force that grabs as much of our attention as Kimberlin’s lead vocal does all by itself, but it never intrudes upon the immaculate design of the beat as it stands alone. Nothing can put out the fire that her voice starts in these verses, and when we get into the chorus, it’s an out-of-control blaze of near-impossible proportions. Not even the bass, in all of its thick tonal dominance in the backend, is strong enough to impede her flow and that alone haunted me after I listened to “Fruit Basket” for the first time.
The percussion, while modestly muted in the big picture, has an acrylic varnish over its finer points that adds some texture to the rhythm where there wouldn’t have been any otherwise, and though I would have preferred for it to have a bigger part in the grooves when we get into the climax of the midsection, I would change a thing about this arrangement. You can tell that Kimberlin put a lot of time into ironing out all of the seemingly insignificant details in this track, and though it’s different from what a lot of her contemporaries in pop music would do, that’s exactly what makes it such a fetching selection at the moment.
Cerebral songcraft is everywhere we look and listen in pop music nowadays, and it’s not absent from the fold in “Fruit Basket.” The bass does a good job lending some bouncy to the words as Kimberlin evenly distributes the melody across the intro to the song as well as colorizing the groove that the drums will eventually pick up in a surreal mode that never quite goes away. There’s a Latin-style churn in the tempo that meshes well with the loose pop overtones, and while I’d still quantify this as a dance-centric song structurally, it’s got an experimental energy to it that no one can deny (and I also want to hear more of).
“Fruit Basket” is a hot single for Kelsie Kimberlin in terms of ambitiousness, but I don’t think that it symbolizes the best of what we can expect to hear in her career. This track raises many questions that have yet to be fully explored by her in the studio, and my gut tells me that her most fervent of supporters won’t disagree with me. She is bringing a soulful heat into the game that I can’t get enough of here, and this single is one of her scene’s best numbers of the year to date.