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From the moment her voice takes flight on opener ‘Favorite’ to the closing rolling steel guitar in ‘Alone & Forsaken’, she takes control of each note flawlessly.
The setlist appears to be chosen specifically to highlight her strengths, including an interesting selection of covers.
However, what should have been the album’s best number – ‘Home’ – fails to live up to its potential; at first Carlton eschews percussion, opting for a simple, near-perfect combination of piano, violin, harp and voice.
Sadly, this quiet mastery is shattered by needless drums for the last two minutes, wrecking what could otherwise have been a welcome recognition that innovation is at least as important as convention.
Fortunately for us, Columbia Records eventually snapped them up and Rasputina began their odyssey to transform the cello from orchestral relic into something more dynamic.
Andy Wasley _____________________________________ Neko Case Live From Austin, TX •••• I admit it; I grew up with old school country music.Carlton’s multilayered vocals in ‘The One’ take on a rich close harmony that could tie the Puppini Sisters in knots, and ends the song with a remarkably wistful coda.‘My Best’ shimmers with a lullaby feel, filled with the sweet chimes of an electric piano to create a very pleasing track, and proving that, when she tries, Carlton can be very impressive.Carlton soon found herself receiving a cold “thanks, but no thanks” from her record label, A&M.All was not good, until R&B supremo Irv Gotti (Ashanti’s backer) decided to take a chance on her by producing her third album, .
What might be sacred ground to many artists becomes artistic license to Case, as she takes classics by Dylan (‘Buckets of Rain’) and country legend Hank Williams (‘Alone & Forsaken’) and gives them a tender twist.