It’s amazing what a couple of years can do. Australia’s alt-country pop-star Kasey Chambers, among other things, recently released her fourth studio album, Carnival. Chambers has matured as a person and as an artist, as proven by this surprising collection of ditties.
The mouse-like vocals that shot her to success with “Not Pretty Enough” on 2002’s Barricades and Brickwalls have not completely disappeared – and they’re still annoying to the unsuspecting listener. Country fans, however, will assert that her voice still sounds young and flirty, resonating like a triangle ringing for dinnertime. Her lyrics are part true-story and part story-teller, both of which she rocks.
Chambers dabbles in various other genres on Carnival, thanks in part to new members joining the band. “Light Up a Candle” grooves seductively while “Railroad” and “You Make Me Sing” could pass for blues songs with grim vocals, steady rhythms and forceful leads.
Joan Jett could have performed the quickly strummed, distorted “I Got You Now,” but all 12 songs on Carnival are clearly Chambers’. Even if her voice may remind some listeners of clanking silverware, she ought to be respected for writing her own music, expanding her styles and staying true to herself.
Hilary Saunders can be contacted at email@example.com.