The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Lauren Modery, May 11, 2018, Music

Kat Edmonson albums are instantly recognizable. If the airy Billie Holiday crackle doesn't give them away, then it's the former Austinite's Thirties jazz leanings. Old Fashioned Gal, the Houston-reared Texan's fourth full-length, spins no different. Written in her Brooklyn apartment one winter while wracked by cold and sick, it follows her original screenplay outline for a musical born of Turner Classic Movies bed rest. That imbues the 11-track album with an MGM-like quality. Hear it in the sweeping "Sparkle and Shine," an orchestra-filled tune about a woman whose class and ambition beat out her indecision and external criticism, and "Old Fashioned Gal," a piano-laced commentary on technology's stranglehold on our lives. In this song, our nameless heroine tells her prospective beau, if "he's tired of being assailed by a barrage of emails," then the two are destined for each other. Like her previous three albums – The Big Picture (2014), Way Down Low (2012), and Take to the Sky (2009) – whimsy and charm saturate every track. Her unique voice and the LP's nod to the Great American Songbook may not be for action-adventure movie hounds, but Old Fashioned Gal again proves Kat Edmonson the modern-day queen of a bygone era. (Kat Edmonson plays ACL Live at the Moody Theater on Saturday, May 19.)


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