- Get it by Thursday, September 28 , Order now and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.
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 noirlike 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.
Performance CreditsKathleen 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 CreditsDave Draves Producer,Engineer,Feedback
Jack D. Elliot Engineer
Kathleen Edwards Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.