Wreck Your Wheels
In her pursuit of musical happiness, Ohio-born country song stylist Kim Richey has toured the world a few times and Wreck Your Wheels - despite the title - suggests that she has no desire to slow down. In keeping with her last release, "Chinese Boxes", this effort - while not her best to date - is a solid offering from one of the most respected voices on the Americana scene.
Ms Richey's voice is as strong as ever and immediately it seems that "Wreck Your Wheels" has been orchestrated around that angelic voice. "Leaving 49" skips into pop territory without sounding out of place but this is as much a tribute to her band, who tread the fine line between Americana and pop diligently, as it is to Ms Richey. Hints of soul and bluesy influences seep through on "For A While", on which Kim is truly heard at her best, while "Keys" is a similarly moving acoustic affair with the lack of imposing instrumentation only accentuating the beauty of Ms Richey's fragile, whispered tones.
A little more emphasis is put on the music with "When The Circus Comes To Town" and "In The Years To Come" sinking deeper into roots-rock territory with Ms Richey sounding as comfortable as ever in those environs. "Once In Your Life" carries a wonderfully earthy feeling, as if it could've been recorded by the campfire.
Lamentably, the album runs out of steam somewhat towards the end, which is to say that the tempo sinks in a less than desirable way. However, the album does finish on a high - the thought-provoking "Word To The Wise".
While perhaps not the best album with which to begin your Kim Richey collection, "Wreck Your Wheels" does hint at Ms Richey's strengths - of which there are many to consider - and the album remains a good listen. No words are wasted on this record, but that's just Ms Richey's way, it would seem.
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