Kathy Phillips

Carries You Away

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The sophomore release from Kathy Phillips -- a mere five years after her debut -- showcases a confident talent with a strong, emotive voice who can really craft her songs. There's a definite country touch to the New Jersey songstress' material, most notable on tunes like "Walking Out the Door," where she puts on her best Loretta Lynn, but there's also a very strong pop element to the music on the Sheryl Crow adult pop end of the spectrum, perfectly illustrated by the little gem "Ordinary Day." She can be quite enigmatic in her lyrics, as she is on "Rita," or quite blunt, on the other-woman scenario of "Little Secret." There's good production by Matt Angus, and the arrangements are varied enough to offer plenty of changeups in the sound. Wherever the album goes, Phillips sounds comfortable and in control, passionate but with enough coolness in her voice that it works very sensually. Perhaps the standout track, though, is "Sleep," which evokes images of Crowded House in its rich arrangement. All in all, Kathy Phillips deserves to break through with this record.

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