Failer

Failer

by Kathleen Edwards
4.5 4

CD

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Overview

Failer

Newcomer Kathleen Edwards makes a startling debut with Failer, which suggests an electric fusion of Whiskeytown's ringing guitars, Lucinda Williams's breathy, melancholy delivery, and fellow Canadian Neil Young's raspy, earthy tone. These sources ably serve Edwards's vivid narratives, which are given added resonance by the disc's atmospheric, film noir–like arrangements. If Failer's ambience is somewhat sinister, however, it's only amplified by the subject matter: The hard-driving "Six O'Clock News" finds the narrator pleading with her deranged companion, by whom she's pregnant, to give up his standoff with the police; typical of these songs, though, he winds up "lying dead on the street," leaving his paramour to lament, "And I can't feel my broken heart." The gentle, acoustic-driven folk-rock of "Hockey Skates" frames a tale of terminal frustration over a self-absorbed boyfriend ("Do you wish your nose was longer/So you'd have an excuse not to see past it"), its choruses rising ominously on a rush of strings. "Westby" finds a furious Edwards almost screaming invective, à la Ani DiFranco, at an older, married lover, her anger mirrored by a tangle of acoustic and electric guitars. The foreboding string arrangements and subdued shuffle of "National Steel" lend a Beatlesque grandeur to an elliptical recounting of emotional disconnects. There's nothing easy about these songs -- Edwards is as hard on herself as she is on others -- and there's nothing predictable about the music supporting the stories. Edwards takes her cue from the Beat writers, finding humanity not in good deeds but in extreme behavior propelled by vulnerability, irrationality, and the desires of the flesh. That's a pretty good place to start.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/14/2003
Label: Zoe Records
UPC: 0601143103520
catalogNumber: 431035
Rank: 91426

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kathleen Edwards   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Strings,Vocals
Dave Dudley   Drums
Jim Bryson   Banjo,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Dave Draves   Organ,Piano,Drums,Vibes
Maury LaFoy   Piano
Peter Von Althen   Percussion,Drums
Joel Anderson   Percussion,Drums
Petr Cancura   Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Fred Guignon   Slide Guitar,national steel guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Kevin McCarragher   Bass
Blair Phillips   Alto Saxophone
Tom Thompson   Pedal Steel Guitar

Technical Credits

Dave Draves   Producer,Engineer,Feedback
Jack D. Elliot   Engineer
Kathleen Edwards   Producer

Customer Reviews

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Failer 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been hooked by Kathleen Edwards from the moment I put this cd in my car. The songs range from the intensely personal 'Sweet Little Duck' to the hard luck story in 'Six O'Clock News'. Edwards must be keeping her eyes wide open while traveling through life, because it shows in her writing and vocal expression. Her voice can slash and mock in 'Westby' and 'One More Song', and evoke great sadness and loss in 'Mercury' and 'National Steel', while the same can be said for the instrumental work by the band. Here is a woman that reminds me of a mix between Neil Young, the late Gram Parsons,and the introspection of Joni Mitchell. With no doubt I look forward to hearing more from Edwards in the future.
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