Asking for Flowers
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Asking for Flowers
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Kathleen Edwards' Asking for Flowers is her first new album in three years. The album features eleven new songs, all written by Edwards, and finds her performing at the peak of her creative powers, supported by a group of master backing musicians. Flowers tells indelible, clear-eyed stories of hope and resignation, humor and death, unconditional love and brazen inequality. Co-produced by Edwards and Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Whiskeytown), the album features, among others, keyboardist Benmont Tench from The Heartbreakers, drummer Don Heffington (Bob Dylan, The Wallflowers), bassist Bob Glaub (Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Leonard Cohen), guitarist Colin Cripps (Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams), and pedal steel ace Greg Leisz (Sheryl Crow, Wilco, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss).
On her third album, Kathleen Edwards is poised reach the larger audiences she deserves. More striking on this new release is her stronger vocal and lyrical prowess which makes it apparent that she’s in the zone of her craft. After proving her mettle on previous outings, she delivers with further conviction and confidence across songs suited for both quiet country roads and late night city bars. Her songs are often delivered with rough edges and heavy, somewhat smoky breath, yet nothing is overstated. As one of the latest great female voices to emerge on the Alt-Country scene, Kathleen Edwards stands tall next to other significant genre partners including Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, and Patty Griffin. In her lyrics she willingly reveals the ghosts in her closet, as well as her own self recriminations, at one point stating that, “Choosing my words carefully / has never been my strength / I’ve been known to be vague and often pointless.” Maybe so, but the essence of her meaning and the tone of its delivery still resonates with lonely hearts and souls driving down life’s dustier roads.
Top customer reviews
No matter where you come from or what your life experience has been, there will be at *least* one track on Kathleen Edwards' latest offering "Asking for Flowers" that will resonate with you. The haunting melancholy of "Buffalo". An achingly fond memory of a lost loved one inspired by "Scared at Night". A social conscience awakened by "Oh Canada" (which will *never* be confused with its better known namesake, "O Canada"). The wry, mildly caustic wit of "The Cheapest Key" or "I Make the Dough, You Get the Glory". (You have to love a girl who can work Marty McSorley into a lyric!) Maybe the wistful regret in the title track will be what speaks to you. But one thing is certain. No matter your usual taste, and really no matter your opinion on her first two efforts, *something* on this album will hit you right between the eyes.
With "Asking for Flowers", Edwards shakes off all of the comparisons that followed her through her first two albums. While references to Neil Young or Lucinda Williams are certainly complimentary -- and apt -- here Edwards stands on her own. Where she should have been all along.
Can't wait to hear what she does next.
being rushed, duplicated, or cheesy, but she has done it.
When I listened to her first album, "Failer", I must have played it 50 times, and thought it was the best album made by anyone, in any genre, in 20 years. At first, I thought her second, "Back To Me" flagged a little, but then realized I needed to listen to it more and that it had simply taken a turn toward a more rocked up sound.
"Asking For Flowers" is yet another beautiful turn, still preserving Edwards gorgeously emotional husky voice and introspective story telling. But the melodies are more delicate and mature, as are the stories. If you enjoyed her folk, rock, and humorous styles on the first two albums, you will not be disappointed with this CD. All of those elements are still there. Songs like "I Make The Dough, You Get The Glory" and "The Cheapest Key" show her cut-to-the-chase fighting side. Songs like "Asking For Flowers" are simply heartbreakingly beautiful and honest.
"Alicia Ross" carries its own weight about a kidnapped murdered girl, even if you don't know the true story on which it was based.
Musically, the styles are very similar to her other work, deftly mixing in some of Kathleen's solo violin playing, and the band's slide electric guitar and harmonica with just the right touches to add snap to the song arrangements.
The only knock I have against this album is the same one I had for the other two. The recording quality is just not up to par. All her albums have a mid-rangey muddiness that make the band sound like they were recorded in a metal box. The drums sound somewhat like old pots and pans, the bass is lost in murkiness with no definition, and her voice needs to be up more in the overall mix. But the musicianship, her wonderful singing, and beautiful songs are just so darn good that I can overlook the recording quality with ease.
If the rest of the stupid music industry would wake up and listen to albums like this, they would start to understand what it means to create a quality album - an album worth buying and listening to over and over again so you can appreciate it, like the layers of color on a fine oil painting.
It's truly rare to find somebody who can write good song after good song, never becoming repetitive or boring, and always stretching. This must be what it was like when The Beatles were releasing new albums in the 1960s.
The last track, "Goodnight, California" is a Neil Young-esque thing of beauty.
years. I don't find that I listen to "Back To Me" very much, and I
wondered whether maybe the first album would stand as the best of
I did not know what to expect with "Asking for Flowers". I'd read in
No Depression that Kathleen had experimented a bit more, and I did
not find that particularly appealing, frankly.
The first couple of spins did not catch my attention. I didn't hear
any song which had a hook that caught me.
But somewhere along the line, this CD really started to get to me.
It's alternately poignant and humorous--take the juxtaposition
of 'Alicia Ross', a haunting, true story about the murder of a young
girl, with 'I Make The Dough, You Get the Glory" with its already
classic "You're the great one, I'm Marty McSorley" line. That one
will resonate with Canadians and hockey fans.
'Buffalo' is tremendous, 'The Cheapest Key' is straight ahead, no-
nonsense, no-message rock. 'Scared at Night' is beautiful.
This album has it all--poignant lyrics, great rock, catchy hooks and some nice humor. Truly a keeper--and a masterpiece.
Anyway, if you ask me, this one is a classic and leads my 'Best of
(Please note--no mention of 'Neil Young' or 'Lucinda Williams' in the above review!)