Kim Buchanan
Kim Buchanan
N.Y.M.F. (Not Your Mama’s Folk) Records

On the opening, title cut of this, her second CD, Kim Buchanan takes us to places of great personal uncertainty. First, we find ourselves alone on the ocean, under the full power of the wind, without a clue as to where we are going; and then, at the beginning of a road marked “Dead End,” accepting it’s the road we must take, even though we lack any idea where or how it will end. Oh, the gut-wrenching feeling of setting off into the unknown. It’s almost as if Kim is testing her own dedication to this very project, which, considering the scope of this CD, would be quite understandable.

In the final analysis however, Buchanan has delivered a musical package that beams with soul and sensitivity. Her songwriting is smooth and fluid, with lyrics fitting the cosmic, haunting and stormy backgrounds created by equally fine musicians. The violin artistry of Michael Hsu deepens the dimension of the overall work, weaving an intensely mysterious tapestry behind Buchanan’s versatile vocalizations. Her gift for interpretation is perhaps best displayed on “Speechless Peace,” a contemplative, non-lyrical soundscape that gives the listener an opportunity to surrender to his or her own imagination. Originals, including “Illusions,” “Inescapable Revelations,” “No Heart At All,” and the amusingly inventive “Dress Code” round out a mix highlighted by exceptional performances of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.” For the most part, the production is quality is exceptional and is best appreciated with headphones on. –R.L.

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A 2911 ProductionsNot Your Mama's Folk Records

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January 24, 2012 11:24 AM Eastern Standard Time.