>> Karling Abbeygate: Christmas With Karling (2011)

Artist: Karling Abbeygate

Album: Christmas With Karling

Members: Karling Abbeygate, Bob Gothar, Jason Eoff, Russell Scott, Johnny Palmer, Big Manny Gonzales

Genre: Blues, Country, Holiday, Jazz, Rock

Label: White Trash Records

Tracks: 11

Type: LP

Release Date: October 7, 2011

Discs: 1

Rating: 1.36 (out of 4.00)

Grade: D+

Official Site

Karling Abbeygate is a British born singer living in the Los Angeles area and, from what I read, is a cross between Gwen Stefani and Wanda Jackson. Her latest release, Christmas with Karling is, as you might have already guessed, a Christmas album filled with some originals as well as some traditional covers (Jingle Bells, The First Noel, Deck The Halls).

The album starts off with a very Elfman/Nightmare Before Christmas sounding tune titled What’s In The Box. Karling has a very animated voice that gives character to the track and really offers up a descriptive account, enough to conjure up images in your head to put to the track. I really liked this song. Its very child-like and cartoon-ish. Just fun. Track two, Jingle Bells, quickly ends my fascination with Karling though.

As I attempt to find sources to do some research on Karling and her band I find in almost every location a reference to Gwen Stefani. I hear it in Karling’s voice no doubt, but it seems a bit forced, like mimicry. In any case trying to sing like someone else is a task placed upon another task (singing in general). Karling’s vocal work in Jingle Bells sounds warbled at times, frantic, and a bit off key, spoken occasionally. My first go round I chalked this all up to a missed track and moved on to another original titled Christmas Party. Musically it’s a pretty good track with a wild Rockabilly twang that gets your toe tapping, but again Karling’s vocal work here sounds a tad off, strained really. I mean it’s not all bad, but when its bad you notice.

Never in my life would I ever have thought I would commit these words to review but it seems like Karling could do with a bit of auto tuning which is amazingly bizarre after sampling her self titled 06‘ release which is pretty  excellent. Her heart appears to be in the right place as far as tackling the rockabilly genre but her talent lacks polish on this particular outing. The production on the CD is also a bit laxed, a few times I envisioned the bands guitar player Bob Gothar staring out the window concentrating on something off in the distance as he strummed along without much passion. Donnie Whit beck (Producer, Mixer, Master) should probably give the band back half the check. I just couldn’t find much to love about Christmas With Karling other then that first track. As always final judgment is yours.




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