Kim Barlow

Humminah

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AllMusic Review by

Humminah is an astonishing debut for Kim Barlow. Although she is actually a classically trained guitar player, her secret love is the cello, and on Humminah she surprises the listener again and again on how differently this instrument can be deployed. Furthermore, Barlow has a gift of enhancing her own creations, songs about the harsh but also magnificent life in the Yukon and the people living there, by a variety of unconventional instrumental combinations: listen to the interplay between violin, cello, and drums on the groovy "Child of America," the cello and marimba on "Grandfather Song," and how Barlow manages to construct a solid rock song from one drum and two cello tracks on "Lonely Elizabeth" (on this track, she sometimes sounds like Chrissie Hynde). Sparsity and refreshing simplicity are the keywords labeling this album, and the lyrics deserve praise too: they are of an equally enjoyable unpretentiousness, be it the odd love song "Humminah" or the tranquil "Lullaby for Anxious Parents."

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