Saturday, March 8, 2008

Asking for Flowers on Aisle 300

Multitasking has its downsides, so this is going to seem choppy.

I'm writing this in between looking professional at a home show. Some of the representatives at other companys' booths are text-messaging friends, playing with their displays, or staring off into space. It's been quite dead due to a small snowstorm we had in the area. We only got an inch at my place. I could barely drive on the road on the way in, but they weren't cancelling this thing.

"Oh, hi there! Can I answer any questions? No? Okay, well, give me a shout if you need anything!"

Anyway... big disapointment in attendence. And therefore very boring. But I stand and smile. Let me tell you a few things about Kathleen Edwards' new album while we wait for the next uninterested patron to pass. "Asking for Flowers" is everything I had hoped for and more. It isn't as loud or as tongue-in-cheek-fun as the last one, but it definitely has more beauty to it.

"Yes, sir! These rental units are much more efficient than your average... yes, they're only $19.95 a month. We've got these smaller ones... okay, well, thank you, sir!"

She has always had this undenying sweetness in her voice, and she certainly keeps it coming, like at the end of "Sure as Shit" when she almost whispers the touching words she's written, but the whole album shows off her range of emotion as well as her maturity. She tells you like it is. Like no one ever has before. The first two or three minutes in you already feel like you're experiencing so many of the things she has experienced. Seriously, "Buffalo" almost made me cry the first time I heard it. It's not all sad and sweet, though. "The Cheapest Key" and "I Make the Dough, You Get the Glory" are two great uptempo pieces where her sass and attitude take over.

Definitely something I would recommend to friends. Even if you're not normally an alt-country fan, you might still want to check it out. It's probably the first great album of the year.

Track 4: "Oil Man's War" by Kathleen Edwards from "Asking for Flowers"
[iTunes] [website]

Kathleen's vocals and lyricism are particularly potent on this one, a song about two kids chasing their dreams.