Wayward Angel

Wayward Angel

5.0 3
by Kasey Chambers
     
 

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It's been three years since alt-country rocker Kasey Chambers' last album, 2001's Barricades & Brickwalls, but Wayward Angel proves worth the wait. It reveals a more mature songwriter working confidently within a mix of styles, from hard country to rock to bluegrass -- there's even a stab at classic pop, albeit

Overview

It's been three years since alt-country rocker Kasey Chambers' last album, 2001's Barricades & Brickwalls, but Wayward Angel proves worth the wait. It reveals a more mature songwriter working confidently within a mix of styles, from hard country to rock to bluegrass -- there's even a stab at classic pop, albeit with a folk tinge, on the wistful, piano-and-voice meditation "Paper Aeroplane," which recalls Norah Jones. The Australian native recorded her first bluegrass tune in "Follow You Home," which augments her keening vocal with stirring mandolin and banjo solos, resulting in a Rhonda Vincent–reminiscent piece. She lets out her inner southern rocker on "Guilty as Sin," on which she spits out a hearty vocal supported by stinging guitar work and a little bit o' soul via some tasty organ fills. On "Stronger," the opening grind-and-crunch guitars bleed into a soaring rock chorus bolstered by organ and meaty drums, as Chambers effortlessly tells of her newfound confidence in a voice that modulates between a stage whisper and a jubilant shout. In fact, her singing is more impressive than ever, as she demonstrates a judicious deployment of volume and nuance, which she displays most impressively on the mellow, country-flavored heartbreaker "More than Ordinary," where she sustains a long, high note that adds a sudden burst of brittle tension at the end. Nash Chambers has become one of the best producers around, and his use of textures and layered arrangements serves to enhance his sister's intimate way with a lyric. Kasey Chambers has spread her wings, and on Wayward Angel, she soars to spectacular heights.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
When Kasey Chambers sings, she manages the not-unremarkable accomplishment of splitting the difference between Emmylou Harris's crystalline purity and Lucinda Williams's rough-hewn emotional honesty, and the most startling thing is you sense she sounded like this before she ever heard of either artist. Chambers' songwriting is no less remarkable, and connects in much the same way, chronicling matters of the heart and soul in a manner that achieves a genuine and unaffected beauty with just a dash of the truthful messiness that comes with being human. Chambers's third solo album, Wayward Angel, is perhaps a bit less striking than her first two sets, The Captain and Barricades & Brickwalls, if only because she staked out her style on those sessions, and here she's harvesting from the ground she broke earlier on. But this also sounds like her most accomplished effort to date. Whether she sings from the perspective of a precocious child ("Pony"), a woman with a serious case of lust ("Guilty as Sin"), or an elderly man ("Paper Aeroplane"), Chambers never fails to hit the right note as a lyricist, or make a false step as a vocalist, and Wayward Angel is informed by a confidence that never sinks into arrogance. Chambers is also lucky to have on hand as producer her brother Nash Chambers, who has paired Kasey with a team of gifted pickers who add color to the songs without cluttering the landscape, and captured the results in an admirably straightforward manner. Wayward Angel is the work of a strikingly talented singer and songwriter, and it's simply a pleasure to hear Kasey Chambers work -- anyone who doubts that this woman is a major artist needs to hear this album as soon as possible.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/14/2004
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624881124
catalogNumber:
48811

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kasey Chambers   Primary Artist,Harmony
Sunil DeSilva   Percussion,Tambourine
Mark Punch   Electric Guitar,Harmony
Steuart Smith   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Baritone)
Kerry Buchanan   Drums
Nash Chambers   Harmony
Bill Chambers   Dobro,Lap Steel Guitar,Harmony
Clayton Doley   Hammond Organ
John Watson   Drums
R. McCormack   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin,Mandocello,Harmony,Guitar (Resonator),Papoose
Mick Albeck   Fiddle
Glen Hannah   Acoustic Guitar,Harmony
Jeff McCormack   Bass
Bill Risby   Piano
Kym Warner   Mandolin
Carol Young   Harmony

Technical Credits

Nash Chambers   Producer,Engineer
Kasey Chambers   Composer
Jeff McCormack   Engineer

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Wayward Angel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It really is Kasey Chamber’s world--we are just lucky enough to get to visit it every once in a while. She is one of those few and rare artists who you think can never improve on the next project, but somehow always comes through. On Wayward Angel Kasey Chambers takes the sophisticated writing of Barricades and Brickwalls and the simple, straightforward instrumentals of The Captain, shakes them up and rolls out a project more wonderful and touching than either. In a genre which seems to pride itself on the mindless and the generic, Chambers bubbles over with intelligent, introspective and, at times almost painfully, personal lyrics. She remains a refreshing antithesis to the mainstream, country music’s true Wayward Guardian Angel. “When I grow up I want a pony,” Kasey opens hers album with a fan favorite from her last tour, the coy and taunting “Pony.” Then she steps into the adulthood so wistfully dreamed of in the aching second track “Hollywood.” “Stronger” finds her caught in the cross winds between the knowledge that her increasing years have brought with them experience and wisdom, but not the knowledge of what to do with that wisdom and experience. “Bluebird” finds it heart in a melody remincent of 80’s Emmylou Harris as Chambers ponders the fragility of a new relationship. Next up is one of her more heartbreaking songs, co-penned by Cori Hopper (aka: Talon’s dad), “More than Ordinary” where she delivers one of her best verses ever “Well I used to make the fire/but now I’m running out of flames/The closer I get the more it rains/and I won’t change everything to have you back again/but I can’t keep everything the same” before she asked her ex “Was I ever really/more than ordinary?” Next up is the Appalachian styled ballad “Wayward Angel” a song to her son (aka Talon) about the role she hopes to play in his life, “I’ll always carry you home/I’ll bring you salvation/before tomorrow.” “Paper Aeroplane” offers competition for saddest song with it’s simple, piano laden, tale of a widow missing his wife, with Chambers reminding us all of why hers is “the voice with the million dollar catch” (Chet Fillipo). On “Like a River” Chambers and brother Nash as producer, schools lesser artists like Shania Twain and Mutt Lange on how to create a complexly layered sound and use it to enhance rather than detract from the singer. “Wouldn’t you think I’d have it all figured out by now/that I’d know exactly what I’m doing” she muses on “For Sale” a song about her tendency to use her life as song material, before she goes on to caution fans, “You can buy my life on radio and order me by mail/but not everything about me is for sale.” The bright and bluegrass “Follow You Home,” also co-penned with Hopper, is a tribute to one of her heroes Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. She brings the angel imagery from Wayward Angel forward and applies the to a song about another hero, her mom Diane Chambers, in “Mother.” She gets naughty Wanda Jackson style on the teasing “Guilty as Sin.” Another song she debuted to fan acclaim on her tour “Lost and Found“ (Co-penned by Glen Hannah and Worm Wercheon, called “Still Here on Tour), another very pretty heartbreak song. The album closes with “Saturated,” a very pretty song about wondering what to do when you get what you wanted. If Kasey Chambers did not exist it would be necessary to invent her. In the era of Corporate Country she remains a staunchly Indie artist in the heart of the beast--and beats them at their own game. She outsells them even when they keep her off the radio and punish her independence with woefully under funded publicity budgets. S
Guest More than 1 year ago
It really is Kasey Chamber's world--we are just lucky enough to get to visit it every once in a while. She is one of those few and rare artists who you think can never improve on the next project, but somehow always comes through. On Wayward Angel Kasey Chambers takes the sophisticated writing of Barricades and Brickwalls and the simple, straightforward instrumentals of The Captain, shakes them up and rolls out a project more wonderful and touching than either. In a genre which seems to pride itself on the mindless and the generic, Chambers bubbles over with intelligent, introspective and, at times almost painfully, personal lyrics. She remains a refreshing antithesis to the mainstream, country music's true Wayward Guardian Angel. "When I grow up I want a pony," Kasey opens hers album with a fan favorite from her last tour, the coy and taunting "Pony." Then she steps into the adulthood so wistfully dreamed of in the aching second track "Hollywood." "Stronger" finds her caught in the cross winds between the knowledge that her increasing years have brought with them experience and wisdom, but not the knowledge of what to do with that wisdom and experience. "Bluebird" finds it heart in a melody remincent of 80's Emmylou Harris as Chambers ponders the fragility of a new relationship. Next up is one of her more heartbreaking songs, co-penned by Cori Hopper (aka: Talon's dad), "More than Ordinary" where she delivers one of her best verses ever "Well I used to make the fire/but now I'm running out of flames/The closer I get the more it rains/and I won't change everything to have you back again/but I can't keep everything the same" before she asked her ex "Was I ever really/more than ordinary?" Next up is the Appalachian styled ballad "Wayward Angel" a song to her son (aka Talon) about the role she hopes to play in his life, "I'll always carry you home/I'll bring you salvation/before tomorrow." "Paper Aeroplane" offers competition for saddest song with it's simple, piano laden, tale of a widow missing his wife, with Chambers reminding us all of why hers is "the voice with the million dollar catch" (Chet Fillipo). On "Like a River" Chambers and brother Nash as producer, schools lesser artists like Shania Twain and Mutt Lange on how to create a complexly layered sound and use it to enhance rather than detract from the singer. "Wouldn't you think I'd have it all figured out by now/that I'd know exactly what I'm doing" she muses on "For Sale" a song about her tendency to use her life as song material, before she goes on to caution fans, "You can buy my life on radio and order me by mail/but not everything about me is for sale." The bright and bluegrass "Follow You Home," also co-penned with Hopper, is a tribute to one of her heroes Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. She brings the angel imagery from Wayward Angel forward and applies the to a song about another hero, her mom Diane Chambers, in "Mother." She gets naughty Wanda Jackson style on the teasing "Guilty as Sin." Another song she debuted to fan acclaim on her tour "Lost and Found" (Co-penned by Glen Hannah and Worm Wercheon, called "Still Here on Tour), another very pretty heartbreak song. The album closes with "Saturated," a very pretty song about wondering what to do when you get what you wanted. If Kasey Chambers did not exist it would be necessary to invent her. In the era of Corporate Country she remains a staunchly Indie artist in the heart of the beast--and beats them at their own game. She outsells them even when they keep her off the radio and punish her independence with woefully under funded publicity budgets. She disproves their ideology that to be new country music must be pop by taking her twang, fiddles and banjos to places they've never dreamed of. She blo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago