Kathleen Edwards – Asking For Flowers

March 7, 2008

“And I sure as shit do love you
And I cuss because I mean it
And for that in my heart I am hopeful
And these words that I chose
I was so careful…”

It takes a uniquely talented songwriter to write a song called “Sure As Shit” and not only have it come out not jokey, but have it turn out to be one of the most moving and articulate tracks on an album given to both of those qualities. Canadian singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards returns after a three year break with the strongest album she’s yet done, Asking For Flowers. Edwards tends to get comparisons to alt-country artists Lucinda Williams and Neko Case and the like, but really she reminds me most of bands like Lucero and Drive-By Truckers, musicians with whom she shares a concern and an interest in the lives of rural working people, and the ability to write about them directly and eloquently without turning their issues and experiences into mere abstractions or polemics. (Ray Davies does much the same thing on his latest album.) This is not to say that Asking For Flowers doesn’t have its moments of fun, as “The Cheapest Key” and “I Make The Dough, You Get The Glory” will attest. The latter song has one of my favorite lyrics: ” You’re cool and cred like Fogerty / I’m Elvis Presley in the 70’s..” This is another early candidate for “Best of 2008.” Standout cuts: “The Cheapest Key,” “Oil Man’s War,” “Sure As Shit” and “Goodbye California.”



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