kit rice

Kit Rice- Konfidence (KAR Records)

“Fight the voices inside that are telling you you’re not good enough” is a powerful motivational line for any aspiring musician. As the title of his debut album suggests, BRIT school alumni Londoner Kit Rice aims to instil confidence in listeners that like him are wishing to pursue their dreams. This is a praiseworthy and believable angle for a debut record.

The album’s best track, the gospel-tinged R&B of ‘You Are Enough’ contains great tips that could be taken from a self-help book including “happiness is a choice“, “don’t run away” and “positivity flows through my attitude.” There’s a hard-hitting force to it that along with its clapping rhythm make it reminiscent of Michael Jackson‘s ‘They Don’t Care About Us.’

Although it’s a good starting point in his optimism manual, the rest of Rice’s first release Konfidence doesn’t quite match up to this track in instructional clarity and is not consistently enjoyable musically. He might be aiming to keep the lyrics intentionally open-ended to make it universally appealing, but its vagueness doesn’t make it feel personally written – his most specific lyric is about a “wind blowing through a rooftop lounge” (‘Sweat’) – and fails to give him an edge lyrically.

Rice writes obvious observations about life being hard (‘Catch When You Fall’)  and an ambiguous commentary on war, mass death casualties and borders (‘Walk Alone’). As well as nuanced love dramas (‘Just A Kiss’) and night life thrills (‘Dance All Night’) and ‘Konfidence’). This being married with uplifting yet paper-thin pop ballads and shopworn electronic dance beats make it forgettable.

Nonetheless, the most memorable aspect of Konfidence is the good range in Rice’s vocals which can switch from alto in emotional moments, to regular baritone and to a riveting bass to add intensity within the same song. His deep bass voice has a unique flavour that’s comparable with Yoann Lemoine of Woodkid. Unlike Lemoine, there are many moments when Rice overcooks this raspy tone to finish phrasing to a point where it starts to sound forced – like a talent show performance – and unpleasant on the ears. Thus making it an acquired taste. His insistence on saying “C’mon” doesn’t help matters, making him sounds a imitative musician copying his peers and prematurely dreaming of audience singing his songs back to him.

Kit Rice hints that he wants to do more than “just write a record to sell” in opening track ‘Dance All Night’. The accessibility and box-ticking credentials of his ultra modern music could make him a successful artist indeed, yet he will have to do more if he wants to be seen as free-thinking artist that stands out from the crowd.

Confidence is out now on KAR Records.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.