Published Jan 13, 2015Releasing an album is often a matter of timing — who knows what might have occurred if Miami-born singer-songwriter Kat Dahlia didn't damage her vocal cords, making her anticipated debut drop this year instead of last? As it stands, My Garden is a just okay collection of R&B-pop largely informed by her Cuban background and love of hip-hop and Latin sounds.
Her unique vocal range and knack for catchy melodies serves her well on tracks like "I Think I'm In Love" and "Crazy." The rugged numbers of "My Garden" and "Saturday Sunday" however, along with the gangsta posturing with "Gangsta" and the dancehall-, Spanish- and hip-hop-flavoured "Tumbao" come off as a tad forced. She makes up for it with the hard-driving "Mirror," the Hans Zimmer-sampling "Walk on Water" and aspirational "Lava," which demonstrates strong storytelling skills and a power ballad sensibility.
But ultimately, it's about the timing of it all. Will My Garden flourish in 2015? Was 2014 supposed to have been the year of Kat Dahlia? Right now, her sound feels a bit dated, the release a tad obligatory. Dahlia's a talented artist, but though the album aims high, it runs out of steam landing in the realm of just okay. (Sony)