Failer (Zoe Records)
By: Mark A. Lawrence the IV
I'd read a lot of good press on Kathleen Edwards and her debut album Failer but listening to the CD itself was major blue-balls. As an album it is a pail imitation of so many other acts that have come before including Neko Case, Patty Griffin, and Sarah Harmer. It's no wonder this album is getting the press in a music industry that pushes formulas over good music. The appeal of this album is that every song sounds close enough to another artist it might as well be a cover. An example is "One More Song the Radio Won't Like" is a dead ringer for a Neil Young song down to the way Edwards sings through the words not really committing to the lyrics. As for her songwriting abilities, I read through the lyrics that came in the press packet (thick enough to chock a horse and the damn thing gave me a paper-cut) and didn't really find anything but a line or two that stood out. The only thing about the song writing that really caught my attention was "Hockey Skates", I thought it was as badly written as a Jewel poem. I'm sure this album will sell but of all the tracks, I felt "Westby" was the closest to Edwards' own voice. There is an artist in Edwards' but hopefully she will be able to discover that voice before her sophomore effort. Rating: D.
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