K's Choice

Almost Happy

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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson

K's Choice released its fourth album, Almost Happy, in Europe in 2000, but American fans would have to hold on for another two years. It was well worth the wait. K's Choice stripped its musical soul on this particular album, composing a sound that's both charming and gentle. The dark side is very real on the aptly titled Almost Happy, but as a whole it's quite mature and polished. Frontwoman Sarah Bettens gets personal from the start, kicking off the album with a recording of her singing a Belgian folk song at age five. The innocence surrounding it sets the tone. The warmth of "Home" and "Live for Real" sifts through the present. Bettens' signature smoky vocals are a touch deeper, while the band's instrumentation is delicate. "Somewhere" is the bridge -- a rich acoustic number flowing with elements of country-rock. They move beyond the "alternative" tag that made them international superstars with "Not an Addict," and the approach is wistful. Other tracks, such as "Shadowman" and the vibrant life of "Busy," hit upon social routine and the messiness of it all. K's Choice takes a step back in order to welcome what life brings, realizing that destiny is in the forefront. The bandmembers have tried to do the same with their career -- now that they're a bit wiser. [The domestic release of Almost Happy contains a bonus live disc captured from the European version of K's Choice Live, originally available on Double T Music.]

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