Sunday, December 23, 2007

Kasey Chambers - Carnival

This one is for Karen,my sister back in Oz, Merry Christmas sis.

Kasey is back with a new cd. She’s stepped farther way from her country and alt/country roots and approached the rock-tinged, singer/songwriter sound with her considerable song writing talents intact. She’s accomplished this with more success and sincerity than either the Dixie Chicks or Allison Moorer did in their recent releases. Kasey’s voice is as expressive and varied as ever–-she can purr and she can wail (much like one of her most important influences–Nanci Griffith). She can be sad, she can be sexy, she can be exceedingly poignant. Nash Chambers has produced again and given Kasey a backdrop of electric guitars and percussion to sing against. She never gets lost, staying front and center on every song. Acoustic instruments do make strategic and affecting appearances–keyboards, strings and a harmonica. Kasey’s favorite themes are here–-delivered with particular verve and originality: feisty happiness (“Sign on the Door,” the sexy “You Make Me Sing”), contemplation of what could have been (“Colour of a Carnival,” “Dangerous”), dealing with the bad men in her life (“Light up a Candle,” “I Got You Now”), enduring the tough times (“Hard Road” which includes a lovely duet with Bernard Fanning, “Nothing at All,” and the intoxicating but strange “Railroad”), and finding a brighter tomorrow or the hope of one (“The Rain,” “Surrender,” and “Don’t Look So Sad”). Kasey remains an original and a treasure. “I got a sign on the door that says Lonely don’t live here anymore.”

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