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Back To Me

51 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 1, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The standout cuts on this follow-up to Kathleen Edwards's highly praised debut, Failer, serve notice that the Canadian artist has no intention of remaining a cult favorite in the States. The opening "In State" evokes the anthem-like sweep of Tom Petty's "Refugee," complete with signature organ by the Heartbreakers' Benmont Tench, though its lyric of a prison-bound paramour smacks of déjà vu, Failure having opened with a similar narrative. The propulsive title track, with its irresistible double-entendre hook, deserves to be Edwards's breakthrough hit, while the yearning "Old Time Sake" and the buoyant yet bittersweet "Summerlong" expose a disarming tenderness underlying her tough-chick bravado. Over the course of the album, too much of the midtempo material sounds too much the same, more inspired lyrically than musically, failing to sustain the momentum of the opening tracks. The stripped-down intimacy of "Away" will likely rekindle comparisons to Lucinda Williams, but this artist sounds eager to outgrow those. --Don McLeese

Influences and Contemporaries

Whiskeytown, Strangers Almanac

Whiskeytown, Faithless Street

Sarah Harmer, You Were Here

Sarah Harmer, All of Our Names

Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 1, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zoe
  • ASIN: B0007GAENU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,270 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By D. Mok on March 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Kathleen Edwards had already exhibited a great deal of artistic confidence on her first record, Failer, but on Back to Me, she seems to have moved on to the next level.

Her songwriting remains sharp and melodic, exhibiting a Neil Young-like ability to write concise, flowing lyrics and express deep emotions via simple, effective melodies. Her singing, however, has taken especially great strides. Playing and singing live for the past year has done wonders for her technique, for her pitch is more accurate, her phrasing more engaging, and her timbre far more rich than before. Instrumentally she gathers yet another great band, this one spearheaded by one of Canada's great guitarists, Colin Cripps (formerly of Crash Vegas, now married to Edwards, and also the producer on this record), whose expansive, ringing tones and innovative parts add immensely to Edwards' palette. Like Jon Brion, Cripps has a knack for playing unusual yet perfectly comfortable parts within simple songs, augmenting but never interfering with the central melody or the vocals. Witness rock-out title track "Back to Me", where the electric guitar brilliantly emulates a fiddle, the simple, wailing slide guitar on "What Are You Waiting For?", and the guitar-as-string-section chimes of "Somewhere Else".

But as great the sonic backdrop is, Edwards remains the star, with a voice that's lonely, optimistic, worldly and vulnerable at the same time.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Richard Nelson on June 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
At first I thought this album sounded too "same"--too much of one sound and not enough variety to carry an entire CD. Over time, though, this record has grown on me; if not Failer's equal, it's close, and Kathleen has definitely stepped out of the shadow of Lucinda Williams and into a place her unique voice makes possible for her and few others.

The album starts very strong with back to back rockers, then suffers its only missteps with "Pink Emerson Radio" and the too-precious "Independent Thief." Press on, listener! The weary tales of "Old Time Sake" and the hopeful "Summerlong" get things moving again, "What Are You Waiting For?" is a rollicking taunt, and "Away" is a beauty of a ballad.

This album features an incredibly strong closing trifecta. Leading off with the only non-Edwards song on the album, "Somewhere Else," we move to the record's standout, "Copied Keys," which finds Kathleen musing on the pain of moving to a new place for love and feeling like a tagalong to someone else's life, backed by a trembling guitar that somehow fits the emotions of the song perfectly. Closer "Good Things" sounds upbeat and carries a positive message, but ends the album with a broken heart.

If you haven't listened to Edwards before, buy this or Failer and try her out. And if you liked Failer, you'll like this, too. Give it a little time to grow on you!
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Matthew G. Sherwin HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Kathleen Edwards is releasing here a fantastic new CD with many deeply felt honest and explored feelings, well sung and drawn out as if it were a collage of raw and candid emotion on a canvass that results in an awesome and exquisite new album! People point out that Kathleen uses combinations of folk music, country and rock to do all this-and they are right.

The CD starts off strong with the track entitled "In State." This is then followed by the very self-assured title track "Back To Me." Wow, this title track is powerful! I love these great lyrics: "I've got ways to make you sing my songs/Ones I ain't written yet/I've got lights you've never seen/I've got moves I've never used/I've got ways to make you come/Back to me." The musical arrangement here is strong to support her statement and it is equally well written. At the other end of the spectrum are two songs, "Independent Thief," and "Away" deal with incredible heartache and deeply wounded feelings.

Edwards is supremely talented; I own all her CDs (there's a third "live" CD already out even though Amazon and others sometimes mistake this for a "sophomore" CD). Kathleen's voice always feels so welcome and beautiful to my ears, just like that of a special confidant I can really trust. Her honestly, raw emotion, natural power and compelling spirit always make for a superb album. I ache for more from this woman and this CD will hook you for sure! The quality of the sound is great so you can really hear how well Kathleen emotes to her audience. On this CD Kathleen truly reaches out as she has before. I find her to be refreshingly honest about what are actually common human emotions and experiences on this CD. This is a great CD to get if you're new to Edwards' work-and a must have if you're already a fan like I am!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Hilgers on January 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
It's not really the blinding spell of Kathleen Edwards' recent "Austin City Limits" appearance that I remember the most about "Back To Me," her second recording. No, it's something about how Edwards' sound so closely jibes with how it feels to be in the country. Say you're out around Amarillo, watching the rim of Palo Duro Canyon saw at the horizon just off your left shoulder. It's a summer day, and you have the windows rolled down because you have to. You see breezes undulating the grass, and there's a quiet almost everywhere, even in how the hot sun hits the flanks of rusty billboard towers. You know the colors are changing because it's sunset, but not quite. When I heard Edwards singing on the television that first night, about a dozen country rides through the grand prairie came right back at me.

While almost all the lazy writers in the music business have compared Edwards to Lucinda Williams because it's an abbreviated way to highlight similarities they share--a girl's beauty, an edgy toughness and, of course, electric guitars--neither songwriter quite deserves it. Edwards' output has an organic quality Williams simply can't touch. You'll hear sharp distinctions between guitar and bass, for instance, whenever and wherever Williams plays. Edwards, though, manages to blur instrumental lines until the mix is whole and even intimate, giving "Back To Me" an almost nostalgic flavor reminiscent of some of the best progressive country and folk rock soundscapes of the 1970s. Jackson Browne's "Late For The Sky" may come to mind should listeners find themselves in some of Edwards' lonelier spaces.

Edwards also carries a soft voice through several hard tunes. That's not easy to do.
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