Reviews

Kadhja Bonet
Childqueen

(Fat Possum)

6/10

Kadhja Bonet’s second album can only be described in terms of colour. The sumptuous arrangements soar in deep paisleys; the classical strings are drenched in Disney rainbows; and the LA musician’s octave swooping voice is the warm orange of sun-baked earth.

‘Childqueen’’s ten tracks display the kind of vintage soul and funk that in an alternative world would have seen her collaborating with Prince (in common with whom she writes, plays and produces everything here). It’s also the kind of release that provides the flipside of Janelle Monae: where she turns similar influences towards a futuristic world of dirty computers, Bonet looks firmly back to the Age Of Aquarius.

Within the first two minutes of the album opening there’s a flute solo, followed shortly afterwards by vibes and a chattering dawn chorus. An album of earthy concerns and positivity, her new age adages promise the listener that ‘Every morning brings a chance to renew’ (over the chilled drummer’s march of ‘Procession’) and that ‘Everybody knows everybody’s got a second wind’ (the supple soul of ‘Second Wind’).

With vocals that effortlessly soar into a range only detectable by bats on the Blaxploitation funk of ‘Mother Maybe’, and that are heavily syncopated on the title track’s drifting mood piece, the album creates a beautifully insular world of a more innocent time. The problem is that it’s so disconnected from present day that it’s more like unearthing a lost soul classic than a genuinely new release. 

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support the costs of what we do (the printing and server fees, the podcast and video production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for is a recurring payment of £3 per month for UK subscribers. If you really start to hate it you can cancel at any time. The same goes for European subscriptions (£6 per month) and the rest of the world (£8 per month).

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door, and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.