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January 17, 2012 / jhsaeger

Tuesday’s Best: Kathleen Edwards

         In Kathleen Edwards’ fourth album, Voyageur, the Canadian singer-songwriter recorded an eclectic album with a little help from some major star power.  The 33 year-old, whose Asking For Flowers dented the Billboard Charts in 2008, managed to mix in atmospheric folk music with a handful of brilliant up-tempo tracks on this record.  Partially fueled by Edwards’ recent divorce, several sets of lyrics on Voyageur possessed a distinct edge.  The album’s biggest influence, however, is Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. 
          Vernon, who sang backing vocals on several tracks, also mixed in with a broad cast of musicians by playing bass, synth, guitar, vibraphone, and drums on a variety of songs.  Vernon’s ambient recording style that left its mark on Bon Iver is prevalent throughout Voyageur, most particularly on “Change The Sheets.”  Fellow singer-songwriter Norah Jones also provided backing vocals on the mellow “For the Record.”  Other guest musicians who appeared on Voyageur include John Roderick (session player with Nada Surf, Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemeberists) and Sean Carey (Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine). 
         After a set of beautiful folk tracks Edwards’ album sees a series of more up-tempo songs before fading backing into quieter tunes.  Starting with one of the record’s best tracks, “Change The Sheets,” Edwards recorded a run of tracks that gives the album a well-crafted change of pace.  The track “Mint” provides the album with its most sonically charged song.  Cued by a really bluesy guitar riff that has the listener at first chord, Edwards delivers her best line in the verse “God doesn’t know you like I do.”   Other key tracks on Voyageur include “Sidecar,” “For the Record,” and “Chameleon/Comedian.”
         A sharp record that has a chance to be very successful in the early months of 2012, Voyageur is destined to receive strong airplay on WXPN, KEXP, and their contemporary stations. 
Other Cool Stuff That Hits This Week: Ani DiFranco: Which Side Are You On, Frank Sinatra: The Concert Sinatra (Remastered & Expanded), Janis Joplin: Classic LP Collection

 “Change The Sheets,” Kathleen Edwards, Voyageur

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