Kristen Karma – Dear John – Review

Kristen KarmaKristen Karma’s new song “Dear John” is a passionate, emotional plea homage to a lost lover. The Canadian artist already has a long list of collaborations and accolades, and “Dear John” finds her continuing to grow as an artist.

Kristen Karma – Dear John

The song opens with sparse acoustic guitar, light electronic production, and vocal “oohs”. The haunting opening immediately turns into a complex narrative of bittersweet reflection, with Kristen’s rich voice telling a story of love and loss. It is very clear from the 1st chorus what the subject matter of the song is, with Karma singing: “I hope you’re up there watching over me / Can you see all that I can see? / I hope you’re feeling really proud of me / For all I’ve done and turned out to be”. These painful lyrics paint a vivid picture of a woman in mourning struggling to find a sense of acceptance from her loss.

The song follows a traditional AB/AB structure, with the chorus instrumentation fully opening up, combining analog and digital elements. This diverse sonic palette provides a full spectrum of sound over which the vocals can tell the story.

Singer Marian Hanna takes over vocal duties for the 2nd verse & chorus, bringing some sonic variety to the lyrical delivery. After the 2nd chorus, rapper Mr. ATP enters for the bridge. His melodic and rhythmic delivery helps comfortably contrast and offset the female singers, allowing the song full linear growth. His bars reinforce the pain and anguish in the lyrical narrative thus far, and the added depth paints a comprehensive picture for the listener.

The chorus returns following Mr. ATP’s bars, with Kristen taking back over lead duties but also being joined by Marian, creating a swirling chorus effect. The arrangement grows and finally climaxes, fully imparting the experience of the singer(s) onto the listener, who is left with a final, haunting, “miss you” echoed by Mr. ATP at the very end.

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