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Kathleen Edwards

Back to Me

RS: 3of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 4.5of 5 Stars

2005

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On her 2003 debut, Kathleen Edwards was a twenty-three-year-old folkie trawling dead-end bars and the ashtray of her mind for character sketches and tough, heart-rending tunes. She sang of alcoholism, bad parents and a gun-toting lover, and managed to sound older than she was. On Back to Me she still does, for good and bad. The roots-rock downers are blander than her admirers would hope, full of sepia-toned melodies and abstractions about old mistakes and never going home again. When she's on, her tunes suggest an unavoidable presence, as on the opening one-two punch of "In State" and "Back to Me," which recalls Lucinda Williams' "Joy" in its bar-ready, man-defying feistiness. But Edwards' mix of bravado and beauty is epitomized by "What Are You Waiting For?" a midtempo rocker in which she gracefully harmonizes, "You've gotta be fucking kidding me."

CHRISTIAN HOARD

(Posted: Mar 10, 2005)

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