Kim Carnes

The Best of Kim Carnes [Priceless Collection]

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

There are few songs that capture the aura of the early '80s better than "Bette Davis Eyes," and in particular its signature performance by Kim Carnes doing her best Bob Dylan to a new wave rhythm track. But there was a lot more to Kim Carnes than that song. Certainly some remember her duet with Kenny Rogers on "Don't Fall in Love With a Dreamer," but then again, this was far from the story. This collection of ten excellent tracks gives a bead on the real recorded legacy Carnes created -- and was denied -- as a pop star. Carnes was, and probably remains in the new millennium, one of the few great singing stylists of her generation who is not remembered as such. In the ragged elegance of her voice is more soul and diversity than Marianne Faithfull, more pure singing chops than Laura Branigan, and more sexy grace than a host of Mariah Careys or Celine Dions. Check out "More Love," with its latter-day disco rhythm track, or her roots rock, synthed-out read of the Oldham/Penn classic "Cry Like a Baby." But in her own "Crazy in the Night" or "Voyeur," Carnes displays her other considerable gift -- as a songwriter of danced-out consequence, humor, and drama à la Jim Steinman, and in her country-rock stunner "It Hurts So Bad" she can wrench emotion from the broken tale of hidden herstory and thinly veiled desires offered only in the safety and sorrow of an enclosed space alone. In all, this budget-priced collection gives a glimpse, and unfortunately only that, into the wayward career of a singer/songwriter who is as much a poet as she is a pop dramatist and mysterian; Kim Carnes was a guttersnipe diva who rose to the pinnacle of her craft even if no one knew it, leaving her haunted by the legacy of one song.

blue highlight denotes track pick