Kim Richey Reviewed
Kim RicheyRise (Lost Highway)
Rise, new Austinite Kim Richey's fourth collection of songs, finds the accomplished songwriter hitting a new watermark. With production assistance of Bill Bottrell (Sheryl Crow, Shelby Lynne), Richey creates one inspired and intimate mood after another, with intoxicating results. From simmering opener "Girl in a Car" and the intriguing rhythms and appropriate effects of "The Circus Song (I Can't Let Go)" to the ethereal, yet funky "No Judges," and the insistent chug of "Good Day Here," Richey has left her country roots back in Nashville. There's a hint of what might pass for country these days, but that's not really what Richey has ever been about. It's the mark of a masterful tunesmith to be able to convey a broad range of emotions, and Richey accomplishes that with ease. To Bottrell's credit, he creates just the right backdrops for Richey's smoky, never-fragile voice to put those feelings and images across with ease. One highlight is a duet with the underappreciated Pete Droge, "Electric Green," a druggy dreamscape of a tune that shimmers like an awe-inspiring sunset. Some will find Rise a little too laid-back, its grooves just a little too subtle, Richey's easygoing vocals lacking passion. Nevertheless, Rise possesses the same slow-burning passion as labelmate Lucinda Williams' Essence, deceptive at first listen, inordinately effective when it kicks its way into your consciousness.