Album: Kathleen Edwards

Back to Me, ZOE/ROUNDER
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The Independent Culture

This follow-up to her acclaimed 2003 debut, Failer, finds the alt.country singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards still chipping away at the rockface of human relationships, but with an extra layer of introspection prompted by the intervening year of long, lonely touring - more than 200 dates, including shows supporting Dylan, the Stones and AC/DC. Underscoring much of the new material is the realisation that she's involuntarily moved on from her earlier life, a move she both welcomes and regrets: "Away" is the most straightforward road lament, Edwards homesick for old friends, but sufficiently estranged that she "don't know who to call [or] who to write"; while "Old Time Sake" finds her seeking temporary comfort in an old flame's arms. But as she acknowledges in "Pink Emerson Radio", a song about taking stock, leaving things behind and pressing on regardless, "there's no time to waste" in brooding on the past. Edwards employs a wan vocal tone akin to Suzanne Vega or Beth Orton, perfect for songs of

This follow-up to her acclaimed 2003 debut, Failer, finds the alt.country singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards still chipping away at the rockface of human relationships, but with an extra layer of introspection prompted by the intervening year of long, lonely touring - more than 200 dates, including shows supporting Dylan, the Stones and AC/DC. Underscoring much of the new material is the realisation that she's involuntarily moved on from her earlier life, a move she both welcomes and regrets: "Away" is the most straightforward road lament, Edwards homesick for old friends, but sufficiently estranged that she "don't know who to call [or] who to write"; while "Old Time Sake" finds her seeking temporary comfort in an old flame's arms. But as she acknowledges in "Pink Emerson Radio", a song about taking stock, leaving things behind and pressing on regardless, "there's no time to waste" in brooding on the past. Edwards employs a wan vocal tone akin to Suzanne Vega or Beth Orton, perfect for songs of bittersweet disillusion such as "In State", where she's finally lost patience with her boyfriend's evasions and shady dealings. "You've got an answer for every little thing/ You can't even tell me where you've been," she complains. "Maybe 20 years in State [Prison] will change your mind."

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