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, albeitSee more details below

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.

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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

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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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