Barricades & Brickwalls

Barricades & Brickwalls

4.6 3
by Kasey Chambers
     
 

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Kasey Chambers's riveting sophomore effort, Barricades and Brickwalls, closes with a "hidden" track, "Ignorance," in which the 25-year-old Australian inveighs against a world gone mad with violence, racism, sexism, isolationism, and a host of other ills. Recorded well ahead of the events of 9/11, the song is a startling, unforgiving screed on the lunacy all

Overview

Kasey Chambers's riveting sophomore effort, Barricades and Brickwalls, closes with a "hidden" track, "Ignorance," in which the 25-year-old Australian inveighs against a world gone mad with violence, racism, sexism, isolationism, and a host of other ills. Recorded well ahead of the events of 9/11, the song is a startling, unforgiving screed on the lunacy all around us. "If you're not pissed off at the world," she observes, choking up, "you're just not paying attention." The song nails a listener to the wall with its immediacy and vitriol, and it also deepens the emerging portrait of an important new artist. More complex lyrically and more adventurous stylistically than The Captain, her jaw-dropping 1999 debut, Barricades and Brickwalls finds Chambers learning that love is, at best, a confused state. It's not a new idea, but Chambers makes her observations vivid with her bold, intimate writing and twangy, expressive voice. Traditional country is her solid base, but razor-edged rock (as on the title track and the raging "Crossfire," where she's accompanied by Aussie rockers the Living End), brittle folk blues ("Runaway Train"), and pop-tinged folk balladry ("Nullabor Song") flesh out her confessionals. Prominent friends abound: Lucinda Williams adds a world-weary vocal harmony to "On a Bad Day," Buddy Miller chimes in on a couple of tunes, and Paul Kelly's leathery voice lends a Dylanesque touch to the duet on "I Still Pray." But none of these guests outshines this show's star. Chambers frolics through the heartbreak of the honky-tonk-styled "A Little Bit Lonesome," gets introspective on "This Mountain," and brings a Billie Holiday-like vulnerability to the yin-yang of heartbreak and hopefulness outlined on "Falling into You." On her latest, Kasey Chambers ventures where others rarely go, dipping into the political and diving deep into the personal. Her sheer musicality is astonishing enough, but her fearlessness and conviction are marks of greatness, and they're the foundation of Barricades and Brickwalls.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Robert L. Doerschuk
On Barricades & Brickwalls, Kasey Chambers exceeds the high standards that critics had already attached to her even at age 25. The instrumental tracks, raw and unpretentious, provide an ideal setting for her vocals, whose hint of world-weary reflection suggests significant growth even in the brief span of time since her American debut, The Captain. The material is presented concisely, never so much as a verse too long; from the title track, a menacing meditation on obsession, to gentler and more traditional reflections such as "On a Bad Day," Chambers delivers each lyric with disarming artlessness, after which the music simply stops or fades without flourish. Images of restless and rootless wandering crop up repeatedly, appropriate in different ways to a variety of settings: a "lonesome whistle cries" like a promise of danger in "Barricades & Brickwalls," while "the railway line" points toward a chaos of ecstasy on "Runaway Train" and "the whistle blows" rumors of faraway wonders through the desolation of her homeland on "Nullabor Song." Chambers is strongest when evoking these metaphors of distance, isolation, and redemption; on harder-edged material, such as the rock-oriented "Crossfire," she seems, by comparison, a step or two outside of her comfort zone. The replication of a Patsy Cline vibe on "A Little Bit Lonesome," complete with vintage production and bouncy fiddle fills, clarifies that Chambers draws from the most vital currents that feed the body of her chosen tradition. Guest appearances by Lucinda Williams, Buddy Miller, and Matthew Ryan further authenticate Barricades & Brickwalls as prime-cut Americana -- an ironic appellation, perhaps, given Chambers' Australian roots, but appropriate nonetheless.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/12/2002
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624802822
catalogNumber:
48028

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kasey Chambers   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar
Lucinda Williams   Vocals
Peter Luscombe   Drums
Buddy Miller   Vocals
Mark Punch   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Resonator)
James Gillard   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
David Henry   Cello
Matthew Ryan   Guitar,Vocals
Dave Steel   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Living End   Track Performer
Bill Chambers   Dobro,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Slide Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Chris Cheney   Guitar,Vocals
R. McCormack   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Baritone),Papoose
Scott Owen   Bass
Mick Albeck   Fiddle
BJ Barker   Drums
Michael Vidale   Bass
Paul "PK" Kelly   Vocals
Camille Te Nahu   Vocals

Technical Credits

Nash Chambers   Producer,Engineer

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Barricades & Brickwalls 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! Just heard pre-release on community radio station WMNF, a treasure that is ours in the Tampa Bay area. Stunning, especially so the ''hidden track,'' perhaps named ''It Won't Go Away,'' that has this haunting refrain, ''If you're not pissed off with the world, you're just not paying attention.'' Especiallly fitting in these surreal times of the Sept. 11
Guest More than 1 year ago
shes awesome , i like her voice and her guitar , and everything else . i definately recommend this cd . if your gonna buy 1 cd this year make it this one !theres also a great country feel to some of the songs . kasey is a native to australia also ... so buy her cd , mate!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
terrific guitar, thoughtful words and just great music to listen to driving or just hanging out. Heard her first on NPR and went out and bought the cd the day it was released
Anonymous More than 1 year ago