Picks and Pans Review: Barricades & Brickwalls
"If you aren't p——d off at the world, you're just not paying attention," sings country-rock malcontent Kasey Chambers, who keeps the sunny side down on her second disc. Ironically, the most upbeat tune here is "Still Feeling Blue," a relatively cheerful one by Gram Parsons, who was nobody's Pollyanna. Chambers's own lyrics run the gloomy gamut from strident to rueful.
This Australian's quivery, pinched-sounding voice—a cross between Natalie Merchant and Sheryl Crow—also accentuates the negative outlook of her material. At least "Little Bit Lonesome" is enlivened by a traditional country-blues musicality, while "Not Pretty Enough," about a woman who doesn't like her own appearance, suggests that Chambers just may have a sense of humor after all.
Bottom Line: K.C. is no sunshine band