In a world of overly complicated beats and bass lines and excessively edited and remixed audio tracks, it’s increasingly difficult to find an album that is – in its original form – completely stripped out. But as its title suggests, “Simply Shimona” is really just that simple.
This album is the culmination of a dream 14 years in the making, and certainly displays Shimona’s “balm for the soul” brand of music loud and proud. Displaying its heart on its sleeve like a war-worn medal, the result is a potpourri of widely themed songs about love, dreams, God, and many things in between.
Familiar tracks fill the 14-song album, with “The Gym Song”, “Like A Piece Of My Heart” and “Wishing Star”, which feature regularly in her live sets, all making the song list. Thankfully, the way those accustomed to the sweet songstress’ music remember her shows is preserved in full.
The recorded versions of her live songs are just as simple and melodious on the album as they are on stage, with the bare minimum addition of double bass, keyboard and drums to her normally acoustic on-stage ensemble.
It’s an album that brings us back to the first time we saw her on the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre and were awed by her voice and bubbly personality.
In that sense, “Simply Shimona” is not so much a record of new songs, but a collective of tracks played at gigs over the years, and to be honest we don’t really mind.
Sure, new music would be nice, but we reckon there’s plenty of time for that, and given this indie artiste’s propensity to write from the heart about emotions and experiences, there’s no doubt of the beautiful music to come.
What we love is the genuineness in Shimona’s voice and an inherent sweetness that comes with her naturally high pitch. And granted, this kind of music isn’t for everybody’s ears, but we always need a respite from the heavy-beat auto-tune-laden pop music of today, and this would be an album we turn to for some well-deserved easy listening.