he Blow is essentially a solo project by K Records recording artist Khaela Maerkich. Khaela Maerkich’s voice works much like fellow K Records vixen Mirah’s. Both sport a breathy coo, at once exuding innocence and a certain forward sexiness. Both often use a minimal number of instruments at once. The comparisons go on...
The CD begins with “The Democracy of Small Things”. A bubbly saw synth works up and down a scale, threatening to turn into some house-thumping dance tune. Maerkich begins to sing. Several harmonized Khaela’s sing "I spoke to all my molecules and they were divided on if you were invited, love undecided..." The vocal arrangements are very reminiscent of the Microphones (a band that Maerkich has contributed vocals to), full of long, extended chords.
“She Buried Herself in the Air” is an acapella tune, with Maerkich cooing along with herself as she sings a duet. This song does not contain any particularly brilliant lyrics, "what did she do all day long, oh all day long..." The vocal harmonies are pretty, and the song is warm and sparse. “Some Chocolates” works along similar lines: "I brought you some chocolates, but they weren’t made of chocolates, they were made of the shapes of my mouth when I’m talking to you." The song adds some thin-sounding handclaps and traffic noise.
“Jet Ski Accidents” is perhaps the best song on this mini-album. "Do you like Grant Hart songs, do you like Bob Mould songs and have you ever sung along to New Day Rising?" she questions. This indie boy listener answers with a resounding "YES!!!". Damn, she knows me; she’s got me trapped. "I love to make you nervous, I love to make you sweat, I love to make you breakfast the morning after," she coos enticingly. The song builds up with a moderately thick organ tone, a feisty floor tom, a young marble drum machine (that fades in from some place nice), and a cool momentary metallic shriek. The song stops suddenly.
The disc closes with “Little Sally Tutorial,” which is the most fun, yet least replayable of the entire album. Khaela gives us directions on how to play a game entitled "little sally," which consists of jumping, dancing, and clapping. The song, unfortunately not indicative of the entire album, is a lot of fun. To give us an example of the game in action, Khaela has a few helpers aid her in the playing of the game. The song is so peppy; one can assume that they are actually playing it while in the studio.
The key difference between The Blow and Mirah is dynamic changes: Mirah can seemingly stop on a dime and go somewhere else entirely, while the Blow maintains a certain mood and linear path throughout each song. Ultimately then, The Blow’s Bonus Album is a neat little package, containing several decent pop songs, but nothing quite as affecting as “Cold, Cold, Water.”
Reviewed by: Tyler Martin
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01