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Kasey Chambers

Little Bird – 2011 (Sugar Hill)

Reviewed by Sara Hetland

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CDs by Kasey Chambers

Even with a 14-year career, multi-platinum sales and 5 solo albums to her credit, country music fans may not be familiar with Kasey Chambers. She is considered one of the most popular country music performers...in Australia. While she hasn't had mainstream success in the U.S., many are saying that her latest album, "Little Bird," could be her breakthrough.

In her homeland, Chambers gained major success after the release of her single Not Pretty Enough, where she sings about the heartbreak in not feeling good enough for someone. This album displays some of the same vulnerability in the title track ("A little bird told me late last night/If I hold my breath and do everything right/You might come back") and through Chambers' little-girl voice. Despite these softer elements, Chambers' experience with songwriting and maturity as a singer keeps the music sounding polished and confident. She manages to mix together different tones and styles without losing her distinctiveness.

The opening Someone Like Me is a pleasant country-pop ditty and a good introduction for those who are unfamiliar with Chambers. Nullarbor (The Biggest Backyard) is one of the standout tracks, in which Chambers' pretty vocals fit nicely with the lyrics about her childhood Down Under. The second-to-last song, Train Wreck, also pleasantly surprises with a flurry of guitars and other raucousness. The only complaint is that Chambers' cute, chirpy singing and lyrics can come off a little forced on tracks such as Beautiful Mess and Little Bird. Beyond that, she is enjoyable to listen to. The Australians might be onto something.