You Knew Me When CD Review By: MattyJanuary 18, 2012 by: Shauna O'Donnell
You Knew Me When CD Review
This past summer, I had the opportunity to interview with Nashville, Tennessee duo You Knew Me When outside of a bar called Lorado’s in Mason City, Iowa. They are a husband/wife duo that makes incredible music together. It was good to catch up with Karisa, who I went to high school with and to meet her husband Cie for the first time. The duo is comprised of Cie Hoover, who plays the guitars and provides the vocals, as well as his wife, Karisa Hoover, who provides her angelic vocals and her dark , yet moving piano arrangements. In a nutshell, if Cie was yin, then Karisa is yang. These seemingly polar opposites in the music world seem to match and fit one another’s collective styles like a glove. According to my interview with You Knew Me When, Karisa, who is a music education teacher on top of playing shows and making music, met her husband Cie at a local hardcore metal show at Belmont University. Karisa is the kind of vocalist that you would find teaching others at various vocal workshops and music seminars. Their self-titled CD offers haunting, brooding, yet somehow angelic vocal arrangements along with a wall of sound in their musicianship. The ambiance that they offer in their music is second to none as well.
You Knew Me When’s self-titled album starts off with a lovely track entitled “Home”. In the interview, Karisa and Cie described this song as how everyone has a differen meaning and a different definition of what home means to them. For one person, “home” could mean coming home to a warm family around the dinner table, and to another person, “home” could mean coming home to a desolate house. I really enjoyed the deep meaning in this particular track. The arrangements are moving and the vocals provide that melancholy feel which sets the tone for the rest of the album. ”This World A Box” is the second track off of their self-titled album.
Cie’s vocals really stand out in this particular track, yet Karisa’s background vocals seem to blend in wonderfully in this particular track. I really like the lyrics “Isn’t it amazing how we fall down, innocence is so blind to the winds of change”. I really enjoy the subject content of this track. “This World A Box” talks about how we have this tendency to making sure that all groups of people and our ideologies have a particular label, and how we need to view other people’s perspectives and to think outside of the box for a change. The standout track for me is the third track of the album entitled “Tick Tock”.
“Tick Tock” showcases a spiritual, idealistic side of You Knew Me When. This song seems to be a battlecry or a sense of urgency of how the population is letting time slip away and how the individual has the tendency to simply go through the motions of life instead of making it a mission to make a positive impact in someone else’s life. This particular interpretation of “Tick Tock” is evident by this lyric: “Tick tock tick tock, a man without hope, a man without promise and nowhere to go, spread your love and change the world, but above all else don’t live your life unfulfilled”. Karisa sings this song with passion, as in a sense of rejuvenation and a sense of urgency to inspire a generation of lost people that are oblivious to the world that’s around them.
Put Coldplay’s arrangements with Belle & Sebastian, add some melancholy in some songs, and you get You Knew Me When. They recently played a show in Blacksburg, Virginia for Cie’s ten year class reunion. Check them out at www.facebook.com/YouKnewMeWhen and also go to their Reverb Nation page. Be sure to hit the “like” button on their Facebook page, that’s where you can check out their music. In essence, this is a CD that the listener can enjoy while sitting around a bonfire while the sunset adds a wonderful backdrop to the music. If one cherishes good songwriting, quality arrangements, and deep and poetic lyrical content, with a sense of catchiness to the songs and melodies, then this is the CD to get. Again, I want to thank Cie and Karisa for interviewing with me this past summer, it will never go unappreciated.