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4.2 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 17 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00006RGBG
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,323 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Six O'Clock News
2. One More Song The Radio Won't Like
3. Hockey Skates
4. The Lone Wolf
5. 12 Bellevue
6. Mercury
7. Westby
8. Maria
9. National Steel
10. Sweet Little Duck

Product Description


This young Canadian singer-songwriter delivers a sucker punch of an American debut. While it may take a few listens for some of the material to sink in, Kathleen Edwards plainly has attitude to burn and a killer band to back it up. As a rootsy artist who sings about sexual attraction and betrayal with a languid breathiness, she inevitably has been tagged a younger Lucinda Williams, but it would make as much sense to describe her as an alt-country Ani DiFranco or a female Ryan Adams. What's most powerful in her music, however, seems to come from a deeper, more personal place than the study of other artists: from the violent climax of "Six O' Clock News" to the bitter resignation of "Hockey Skates" to the buoyantly rocking resilience of "12 Bellevue" to the offhand sensuality of "Westby." Plainly, she's unconcerned with ruffling feathers, titling one number "One More Song the Radio Won't Like" and elsewhere asking the musical question "Do you think your boys' club will crumble just because of a loudmouth girl?" --Don McLeese

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Our friends to the north in Canada have been known to give us some of the best artists to grace the pop music world, from the Guess Who to Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell. Kathleen Edwards, in my opinion, can be added to that ambit with her debut album FAILER, an album that must rank as one of the best for the year 2003.
Edwards has been compared more than a few times to Lucinda Williams, which is heady praise indeed. But she is also her own woman, with an approach that combines alternative country and 1960s-style folk-rock along with stark modern lyrics, and a sardonic sense of humor. There's good social comment on "Six O'Clock News", and a big (but well-deserved) punch to American corporate radio on the ironically titled "One More Song The Radio Won't Like." There is also the use of one off-color word in the track "National Steel" which shows off a true acid side of this new Canadian gal.
Kathleen is someone well worth watching for in the future; hopefully, American radio stations, be they country or adult-alternative, will latch onto her.
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Format: Audio CD
She might be named Kathleen Edwards. I think the song writing style is a perfect blend of those two artists. She writes about failed relationships, not being accepted in the "boys" club that run so much of the music industry, not being able to get her songs played on the radio, having an affair with an older man, too much drink and drugs, and you have no doubt she has sufferred heartache, a thread that runs through most of Lucinda Williams songs. But wait...because she also strikes back. In the song "Westby" she sings "If you weren't so old, I'd probably keep you/ if you weren't so old I'd tell all my friends/ but I don't think your wife would like my friends." In "One More Song the Radio Won't Like," she sings "Reel it in and shut your mouth/reputations are in doubt/write a hit so I can talk you up/ no one likes a girl who won't sober up." Ryan Adams writes a lot like that-songs about being hurt, but he finds a way to poke a finger in the eye. She does that in virtually every song and she sings like she REALLY means it! The band is excellent; they play rock with a country edge. My favorite song is the opener "Six O'Clock News." It's a catchy tune steeped in irony-the boyfriend seems to snap, he's holed up, he's got a gun, and the one thing that might save him is hearing that his girlfriend is pregnant. Alas, she is not allowed near him to deliver the news, and he ends up dead, all over the evening news. Potent songwriting! Highly recommended, and I think this is an artist to watch.
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Format: Audio CD
This recording is an absolute joy and Kathleen Edwards is a wondrous discovery. This CD is remarkably consistent in its excellence. As others have noted, Ms. Edwards writes deeply moving and evocative lyrics with a maturity that belies her age, and she has a lovely voice.
Ignore the misleading comparisons to other musicians. I can just make out enough similarity in vocal styles to see why some hear a bit of Lucinda Williams, and there is one guitar solo that sounds like Crazy Horse, but that's about it. This is an artist with her own unique and delightful sound. On the 'Customers who bought this title also bought:' list that comes up on this page, I find her music much more similar to Tift Merritt than to Lucinda Williams, but I wouldn't say it sounds all that much like either.
The Lucinda comparisons verge on the ludicrous and miss the point. The themes of their songs and the way they use words are worlds apart, Edwards' voice is orders of magnitude more palatable and melodic, and the sound of her band is quite different from any that's ever backed Ms. Williams. It doesn't matter if Lucinda Williams fans prefer Lucinda - that's why they call them "Lucinda Williams fans"! Personally, I like Lucinda and I own all her CD's. But I never would have thought of comparing the two women until I read these reviews, and if I had to choose I'd trade all those Lucinda CD's for this one. The point is that you don't have to choose or compare. You can just enjoy sublime music.
The acoustic and emotional beauty of this music has kept Failer in my CD player for months, and the brilliant lyrical moments of truth in "Hockey Skates" and "Westby" are portents that Kathleen Edwards will continue to be a musical force to be reckoned with for years to come.
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Format: Audio CD
Well, I'm not ready to hand her the "Heir to Lucinda" title, but Kathleen Edwards has a future. She fronts a band that rocks country. She writes a good lyric story and sings in a fragile tough voice that sells the stories. Like Lucinda, a lot of those stories hammer or mourn old, and sometimes dead, boyfriends. Wisely, she doesn't waste a minute and frontloads Failer with her best. A song belied by its terrific upbeat guitars, Six O'Clock News is the downer story of a pregnant girlfriend watching as cameras cover her apparently bipolar lover's fatal confrontation with the police. One More Song the Radio Won't Like, a kiss off to a music scene schemer, is anything but radio unfriendly. Once heard you hum it all day. Hockey Skates -- she's from Canada of course -- is the weary ballad of an affair that's been going bad for so long that everything and everyone is worn out by it -- "I'm so tired of playing defense/and I don't even have hockey skates." Nothing else here quite matches that trio's quality, but it's all good, if occasionally repetitive, e.g. Maria=One More Song. Best of the rest are Mercury, Westby (older married man/young woman motel sleaze; "if you weren't so old/I'd probably keep you."), and Sweet Little Duck.
And if I didn't like this for any other reason, there's always the fact that the bassist is named Kevin McCarragher. Have to compare our Irish roots sometime.
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