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Format: CD
Label: Wea2
Catalog: 48028
Rel. Date: 02/12/2002
UPC: 093624802822

Barricades & Brickwalls
Artist: Kasey Chambers
Format: CD
New: IN STOCK AT OUR STORE Used: Used Items are fully guaranteed to be free from defects, and good as new.

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It’ll be awhile—a record or two or three—before the planets andstars are aligned, providence kicks in and anyone who’s anyone realizes exactlyhow special Kasey Chambers is; after all, she’s only 26 and her best musicis still way ahead of her. But watching Chambers in concert is about as closeas you’ll ever get to seeing country-rock iconoclast Gram Parsons in theflesh: she’s young, she’s reckless, and she’s downright virulentin her distaste for mainstream, corporate country music. Still, for every lonesomeholler and high yodel, Barricades and Brickwalls is still more rock ‘n’roll than country: it’s about being young and existing in that very real,very uncomfortable zone between caring too much and not giving a damn at all.

Chalk it up to experience: beneath her youthful exterior, Chambers is wise beyondher years. She packed a lifetime of hard livin’ into a decade when her daddyBill—who’s still with her, playing guitar and singing backing vocals—uprootedthe family and led them on a vision quest through the parched Nullarbor desert.Beyond the simple graces of Chambers’ candid, pure-hearted songwriting, theone thing that made her solo debut The Captain so damn enticing was herrather uncanny ability to express her own feelings of cultural displacement.

At age 15 (when she wrote the first song on the record) and at age 23 (when sheput the finishing touches on the last), that feeling didn’t wane one bit.If country music is all about pain, then Kasey Chambers has experienced enoughto fuel every artistic endeavor until her last dying breath. “If you’renot pissed off at the world,” she howls on the hidden track that closes therecord, “Then you’re just not paying attention.” Australian soulsurvivor Paul Kelly steps in to sing a duet on “If I Were You,” andLucinda Williams drops in for guidance and support elsewhere, but Chambers isat her best when she faces the cold, cruel world alone. And if she has learnedanything in the interval between albums, it’s how to rub a nerve raw: sheshrewdly dissects bodily image issues on “Not Pretty Enough” beforeswitching gears to pay tribute to her personal hero Parsons on a cover of “StillFeeling Blue.”

And for those who thought even the best tracks on her last record were a mitetoo saccharine, there’s a bit of treacle here, too, in the form of the honky-tonkfoot-stomper “A Little Bit Lonesome.” Of course, Chambers still hassome growing up to do: even though her vocal range has deepened considerably,Barricades and Brickwalls lacks some of the immediacy of her debut. Butshe’s the captain of an entirely different ship here. Destination unknown,but breathtaking all the same.
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