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Kate Voegele
A Fine Mess
MySpace/Interscope Records
www.katevoegele.com


"Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood," The Animals once memorably sang. And in so many words, that's precisely what Kate Voegele is saying with her A Fine Mess album. Think of this release as Voegele's chance to clear the air and clarify messy circumstances.

With the angry "99 Times" Voegele declares she is nobody's fool. She may have been lied to, and nearly a 100 times, but she won't let that happen again. Then on "Angel", she informs some poor, misinformed one, "I'm not your angel, darling." Okay. So far, we've established that she's smart, but certainly no softy. On "Sweet Silver Lining", however, Voegele reveals she also has a vulnerable side, too. "I may be weak but I'm never defeated."

Although the track "99 times" has a tough, urban feel to it, Voegele's music sounds more like Americana-pop - if that is even a valid genre description - much of the time. With the presence of topnotch studio musicians, such as keyboardist Patrick Warren, there is plenty of warmth running through these nine songs. For example, Joel Shearer's electric slide guitar gives "Talkin' Smooth" just a touch of Bonnie Raitt.

Back in the early days of comedy, Hardy oftentimes chastised Laurel, saying, "That's another fine mess you've gotten us into!" And isn't that the same thing we tell ourselves whenever we get tangled up in a relationship - one that even Houdini couldn't extract himself from? Voegele spends a lot of time describing messy relationships with this new work, but you're left feeling confident that she'll find her way out, eventually. And that she'll be better, not bitter, once all's said and done. Nevertheless, nobody ever likes to leave a mess.

-Dan MacIntosh

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