Easy

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Ending the long silence since the release of her stunning 1999 CD, What I Deserve, Kelly Willis now leaves us to wonder anew at the depth of her artistry as a vocalist and writer. She works with a velvet hammer on the appropriately titled Easy, offering up 10 mostly self-composed observations on love and longing that make their points tenderly, even while the acoustic instruments behind her gallop along. The two gentle opening tracks, "If I Left You" and the title song, describe things coming undone, but Willis sings their sentiments so casually you focus less on the storylines than on the beautiful, bluesy ache in her voice and her dreamy delivery, which themselves tell...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Ending the long silence since the release of her stunning 1999 CD, What I Deserve, Kelly Willis now leaves us to wonder anew at the depth of her artistry as a vocalist and writer. She works with a velvet hammer on the appropriately titled Easy, offering up 10 mostly self-composed observations on love and longing that make their points tenderly, even while the acoustic instruments behind her gallop along. The two gentle opening tracks, "If I Left You" and the title song, describe things coming undone, but Willis sings their sentiments so casually you focus less on the storylines than on the beautiful, bluesy ache in her voice and her dreamy delivery, which themselves tell quite a story. An engaging and timeless bit of wisdom from the pen of Paul Kelly, "You Can't Take It with You" makes its point bluegrass style, Willis's voice rising up poignantly out of a smooth ensemble sing, as some breakneck mandolin, courtesy of Nickel Creek's Chris Thile, sets a brisk pace. A twanging guitar and crying pedal steel key a sassy reading of Marcia Ball's honky-tonk lament, "Find Another Fool." And if anyone has cut a breakup song more thoughtful or atmospheric than "Wait Until Dark," which Willis co-wrote with John Leventhal, well, let's hear it. Both winsome and longing throughout, Easy is as evocative as a Sinatra album assessing the state of the heart -- something akin to a country version of In the Wee Small Hours. Here's to hoping Kelly Willis doesn't take another three years to come around these parts again.
All Music Guide - Kelly McCartney
Austin, TX, sure has it good -- a lot of amazing musicians are calling it home: Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, and the Dixie Chicks, to name a few. Add Kelly Willis to the list, because with Easy she has earned, or at least kept, her place in amazing-ville. Funny thing is, Willis is almost the perfect synthesis of the above-mentioned artists. She has a tender, romantic way in her songcrafting not at all unlike Colvin. Her voice has an rich, expressive ache, as does Griffin's. And she incorporates the best of country and bluegrass music into her own sonic foundry à la the Dixie Chicks it certainly doesn't hurt much that she and Dixie Chick Emily Robison are sisters-in-law via the Robison brothers, Bruce and Charlie. With Easy, Willis offers up a half-dozen original compositions and a few very tasteful covers that are, well, easy -- easy on the ear, easy on the heart, easy on the mind. She's one of those gals who can say she was country when country wasn't cool, if only for her dignified and much-appreciated adherence to a real, organic, rooted sound that's as much Americana as anything else. This framework suits her well. The record would have been great without them, but it should also be noted that some very talented folks contributed a little something along the way. Alison Krauss, Chris Thile, Vince Gill, Dan Tyminski, and Ian McLagan all get a tip of the hat on this one, too.
Rolling Stone - Pat Blashill
Kelly Willis' sweet, burnished voice practically spells heartache.

Kelly Willis' sweet, burnished voice practically spells heartache.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/20/2002
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • UPC: 014431062223
  • Catalog Number: 10622
  • Sales rank: 134,773

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kelly Willis Primary Artist, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Alison Krauss Background Vocals
Paul Glasse Mandolin
Chuck Prophet Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Wurlitzer
Ian McLagan Piano, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer
Floyd Domino Piano
Tony Edwards Glockenspiel
Vince Gill Background Vocals
Lloyd Maines Electric Guitar, Steel Guitar
Bruce Robison Background Vocals
Rolf Sieker Banjo
Dan Tyminski Background Vocals
Rafael Gayol Drums
Floyd Domingo Piano
John Ludwick Bass
Mark Spencer Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Electric Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Bonang, national steel guitar, Guitar (Baritone)
Chris Thile Mandolin
Amy Farris Violin, Viola, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Kelly Willis Producer
Gary Paczosa Producer, Engineer
Doug Sax Mastering
Geoff Travis Executive Producer
Robert Hadley Mastering
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautiful...

    If Kelly Willis looked liked Faith Hill or Shania Twain (nothing against them- I love them both- and not that Kelly isn't pretty!) the popular culture would call her the uncontested Queen of country music!! Perhaps her new album will be one of the harbingers of the long-awaited death knell for the plastic, pre-fabricated contemporary pop "music" that has plagued America for far too long...If there arose a few true musicians like her in the "rock" genre, we just might see a return to the good old days when the music actually mattered...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Willis shows continued artistic growth

    Willis' second disc for Rykodisc, the first recorded expressly for the label, expands on the wealth of musical expression divulged on her previous release, "What I Deserve." This follow-up, however, trades the urgency of 1999's outpouring for a more relaxed expression. It's as if Willis realized that Rykodisc signed her for who she is, not, as her previous label (MCA) supposed, who she could be fashioned into. Ironically, the pressure of capitalizing on the success of "What I Deserve" has resulted in the most easy-going release of her career. ¶ The arrangements provide the same acoustic-dominated backing found on Willis' impressive, but short-lived, 1996 association with A&M. The sparkling acoustic guitars of "If I Left You" and exquisite banjo picking on Paul Kelly's "You Can't Take it With You" frame the fragile strength of Willis' voice perfectly, and the mandolin and dobro of "Getting To Me" show off the singer's bluesy side. Her solo writes, especially the laconic "Not What I Had in Mind," are more assured, perhaps emboldened by the responsibilities of motherhood (Willis and husband Bruce Robison's son Deral was born in January 2001). ¶ Robison's "What Did You Think" and Kirsty MacColl's "Don't Come the Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim!" display Willis' on-going mastery of emotionally complex covers, and the closing lullaby, "Reason to Believe," is flush with discovery and transformation. "What I Deserve" shook off Nashville's makeovers, "Easy" showcases Willis' ensuing artistic growth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wow!

    Kelly Willis has long been my favorite artist, and a record like ''Easy'' makes it simple for me to explain why. Simply put, this is one of the most beautiful albums I've ever heard. Like Kelly's last album, the brilliant ''What I Deserve,'' ''Easy'' is a collection of lovely, touching songs full of heart and strength and emotion. Both albums are Kelly at her best. ''Easy'' picks up where ''Deserve'' left off, and it does so with impressive results. Listen to ''What Did You Think'' and ''Reason To Believe,'' and you'll be moved as much as I am. Hear ''If I Left You'' or ''Getting To Me'' or ''Wait Until Dark,'' and you'll be impressed. Not a fan of country music? No problem. Buy this album anyway. I'm not a big country fan myself, but to me Kelly transcends genre. This isn't country music like you hear on your local pop-country radio station. It's better. Never heard Kelly Willis sing? Now's the time. To me, there's no more soulful, resonant, heartbreaking voice in music. She makes thoughtful, intelligent, sophisticated music that's as touching as it is addictive. Like ''What I Deserve'' before it, ''Easy'' is destined to remain in my CD player indefinitely, at least until Kelly's next album rolls around to displace it. This album is impressive on so many levels, I can't do it justice here. Give it a listen and see for yourself just how great music can be.

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