Kim Dexter has the voice of an angel and there is quite simply no other way to describe her easy going pop vocals. You don’t hear a singer straining to hit a note. You aren’t listening to a label makeover where the artist seems out of sync with the music she is sharing. Dexter is a very good fit for the music she has for the most part composed on her own.
The alumni of the ska pop/rock band Mayfair Laundry combined with her husband Paul Dexter the former bassist for Mayfair Laundry to produce the soft pop album. Kim Dexter possesses that same combination of girl next door looks and gentle voice that made Olivia Newton John so famous in the late seventies and early eighties. Newbies to Dexter’s music might also be tempted to make comparisons to early Point of Grace hit songs. It is certainly a long way from the girl who originally aspired to be a rock star.
What makes this album work so well is the rhythm section consisting of guitarists Bob Hartry (Bryan Duncan) Tim Pierce (Dave Koz) combining with Detroit native Matt Bissonette on bass (Boz Scaggs, Don Henley, Ringo Starr) does a good job of comping Dexter’s vocals. Rounding out the rhythm section are the incomparable drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Lee Ritenour, LeAnn Rimes, Michael McDonald, Michael Buble) and Kim Dexter on keys. Dexter proves equal to the task as a pianist as she demonstrates with great chops on songs such as “Take Me Down”. Jeffery David also makes cameo appearances on piano.
R&B/Soul legend Bryan Duncan lends his awesome pipes to a duet with Dexter on the number two track “Wait”. The two California based singers blend in perfect harmony. “Wait” is the first single to be released from the album and it is charting well.
Eleven original tunes penned by Dexter provide pastel brush strokes across a canvass that is the singer’s life. From a lady who endured much in her early adult years has emerged a beautiful woman who reflects back on days filled with much pain and sorrow, “where do the brokenhearted go?/left all alone/where do the brokenhearted find relief inside?/you know/Jesus come and fill my soul/”
The first few bars of the upbeat “Fill Me Up” reminded me of the old song “Sooner Or Later” by The Grass Roots. The song is well placed on the album as it provides the perfect solution to the broken heart discussed in the previous tune. This joyous song is bouncy and features a funky scripture reading either using a megaphone, echo chamber or studio mix to simulate the same. Excuse my male bias but I hear this song as being a big hit for pre-teen and teenage girls. And for the record there is nothing wrong with that!
The Dexters have created a very good worship album that doesn’t sound like a worship record. These are songs that can be sung easily by youth groups, congregations and worship bands. If you want an excellent blueprint for how to create Pop worship music for today’s church buy Kim Dexter’s This Is It.
This Is It is enjoying extensive distribution through Christian retail chains and digital services such as iTunes.
Copyright © 2006 Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved. This material may not be redistributed without prior written permission from Joe Montague. Joe Montague is an internationally published freelance journalist / photographer.