Kristen Vigard

Kristen Vigard

Private Music, 1990

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Kristen Vigard is probably best remembered for her stint as a backing vocalist for the Chili Peppers during the Mother’s Milk era. When that run ended, she started her own solo career and signed with a label that was soon purchased by New Age powerhouse Windham Hill, which went consequently out of print physically and digitally. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This is an interesting sort of record, packed with appearances by members of Fishbone and the Chili Peppers, a few of whom take co-writing credits throughout. The album’s true opening track, “Waiting For You,” has splashes of late ‘80s radio ready R&B, right down to Vigard’s swooning vocals. It’s the instrumental flourishes that bring life to the track and make it a bit more fascinating. Her voice is average; nothing jaw-dropping but not ear-screeching either. The songs come across as sunshiny pop with an R&B twist that don’t bring out the best facets of her musically.

“Slave To My Emotions” deserves mentioning as it was co-written and features John Frusciante on guitar and Angelo from Fishbone on sax. The song is plaintive but doesn’t quite reach the necessary heights. “Stone City” is a bit of an uptick, at least musically, something akin to 1991-era Fishbone just not as heavy. The fact that ‘Bone guitarist John Bigham arranged the track might be the reason for this, but it brings life to the album; even her vocals come across as livelier. Unfortunately, that can’t be sustained throughout “12 Bar Blues,” which is exactly what you think it is, as well as on the ‘90s dance pop wannabe “Paint My Head.” Anthony Kiedis shows up for some moral support on a Leon Russell cover, “Out In The Woods,” and his presence actually jolts things to life.

Ultimately, this thing tried to be so many different things for so many different listeners but it fails to rise above the great guests who helped her out. The album sank into the cutout bins and Vigard went back to doing session work. This is a rarity worth seeking out only if you’re a diehard ‘Bone or Chili Peppers fan.

Rating: C-

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