Album: The Beautiful Bones
Artist: Kelley Hunt
About: 12 songs; 50 minutes
Choice: DJR Blogging
Dan’s choice this week, Kelley Hunt’s, The Beautiful Bones is tricky for me to write about. I listened to it several times, but had a hard time forming an opinion about it. Kelley Hunt has a nice voice and the instrumentation is well done on this album. There is just nothing that grabbed me and made me want to discover more.
A couple artists came to mind as I was listening to this album this week. Bonnie Raitt with her smokey, bluesy voice, and Sharon Jones with her high energy, give-em-hell soul. Kelley’s style is scaled down than Sharon’s, but there are a few tracks like Release and Be Free where she comes close to bringing the passion that I really love in Sharon. The Sweet Goodbye and Let it Rain have a Bonnie Raitt-y closing-the-bar-sad-song quality. But despite being very much in line with some artists that I do like very much, she doesn’t nail it for me. This one isn’t going to be one that I come back to with enthusiasm.
Somewhere between gospel, soul, and blues captures the spirit of the songs that make up this album. It loses me both in not being a genre that I love, but also I didn’t find any of the songs really captivating.
This is where hearing an artist live may help in my listening. I expect that if I went into a Kelley Hunt live performance cold – having never heard her music to any extent prior – I would come out of it a fan wanting to buy her cd. Not having her performance presence in my mind, and not being a big fan of the kind of music that she does, makes my review an unenthusiastic one.
Bill Shapiro, the host of the local music radio program, Cypruss Avenue, recently did a whole program on the music of Kelley Hunt. She was the first local artist that he has ever done this for. I only heard a little bit of the broadcast, but what I did hear was gushy outpouring of her talent. I agree that she has a strong vocals and instrumentation, but I am not onboard with Shapiro on this one. I also am not sure why he has not been able to find other Kansas City artists to highlight on his show. There certainly are others out there who warrant his attention.
Dan has some reservations about the album, but his review more positively capture what this album has going on. While everything that he writes is true, I’m sticking with my opinion.
Next Up: Sleater-Kinney’s No Cities To Love