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Kat Edmonson

Way Down Low (Spinnerette)

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., April 6, 2012

Record Review

Kat Edmonson

Way Down Low (Spinnerette)

There's a delicateness to the singing of Kat Edmonson that almost demands the label "chanteuse," breathy and ephemeral, but with an edge gilded by her twang. It's a slightly jarring and unsettled smoothness comparable to that of Lyle Lovett, and their duet here on "Long Way Home" playfully pivots on the phrasing. Yet Edmonson's sophomore outing succeeds on her own unique inflections, bolstered by the singer's emergence as an equally talented songwriter. "Lucky" opens on a light tone, lilting with whistling and harmonies, but it's an emotional narrative that dissolves across the album, through the Joni Mitchell-esque touches of "I Don't Know" and airy samba of "What Else Can I Do?" into a stunningly subdued and searching take on the Beach Boys' "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times." From coy ("Champagne") to devastating ("Nobody Knows That," "Hopelessly Blue"), Way Down Low rivets with a fluid emotion lingering on Edmonson's subtlest articulation.

***.5

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