Kate MacLeod

Constant Emotion

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One of the things that made the '90s folk scene strong was its diversity. At one end of the folk spectrum, you had the tough, hard-edged, Bob Dylan-influenced anti-folk of Lach and Adam Brodsky, and at the opposite end, you had the pastoral, gently reflective folk-pop of Kate MacLeod. The Salt Lake City-based singer/songwriter/acoustic guitarist thrives on subtlety on Constant Emotion, her second album. This fine sophomore effort lives up to the promise of her debut album, Trying to Get It Right, and MacLeod's writing is undeniably strong on originals that range from the haunting "Long Ride Home" to the moving "My Forsaken Love" and the sunny, sweetly optimistic "Talkin' About Good News." If you find yourself feeling jaded, pessimistic or bitter, "Talkin' About Good News" is a great song to listen to because it provides just the opposite perspective. But before you start thinking that MacLeod is incurably Pollyanna-ish, check out "Adam," a disturbing number that describes an unbalanced religious extremist who ends up in prison. Without hitting you over the head, "Adam" tells the character's story quite effectively. The only song on the CD that MacLeod didn't write or co-write is Buffy St. Marie's "The Pineywood Hills," which she interprets with appealing results. Like Trying to Get It Right, Constant Emotion made one wish that MacLeod were better known.

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