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Edie Carey
Another Kind Of Fire
Accidental Poet Records

Edie Carey's extraordinary voice is reason enough to recommend her most recent album, Another Kind Of Fire. Carey is an uncommonly versatile vocalist, capable of the affecting sincerity of the Indigo Girls and the serene beauty of Sarah McLachlan. Her virtuosity, however, carries with it the hope that her records will be as remarkable as her singing. At its best, Another Kind Of Fire exceeds those expectations. As a whole, however, the professionalism and safe production snuff out much of what makes Carey's voice and songs so irresistible.

The Boston-based singer-songwriter is already a veteran of the music scene, with three previous full-lengths and a live album to her credit. Another Kind Of Fire, at its heart, is a set of acoustic folk songs. Carey also blends pop, rock, and country into a style that would be perfect for an intimate live performance. The introduction to the atmospheric "Hollywood Ending," however, dispels any notion that this is a loose, spontaneous affair. The beautifully-written song manages to succeed in spite of the studio sheen, but other tracks don't fare as well. On the plodding "One Shot Deal," the dour arrangement steals the vibrancy and energy in Carey's voice. "Bonfire" and "Without A Fight" are an improvement, but the ballads find Carey in a similar position. The album's most rewarding moments, the moving ballad "The Night" and the intimate "Save You Now," play to Carey's strengths, featuring more restrained, acoustic arrangements. The up-tempo "My Heart" and the subdued "What Love Looks Like" are also excellent.

Carey's lyrics center on familiar themes of love, loss, and relationships, but she approaches the subjects with subtlety and compassion. Still, the sincerity in Carey's lyrics can't keep her from sounding out of place amidst the hazy production on much of Another Kind Of Fire. Her stunning voice is best appreciated on its own, so it is truly perplexing when she decides to hide it behind Wurlitzer piano and synth pads. What's most frustrating is that Carey's tasteful acoustic guitar work, which lends a weight and an organic quality to the album's best songs, is pushed to the background on the more overproduced tracks.

Edie Carey has all of the tools necessary to make timeless music. Still, despite the majesty of Carey's voice and the quality of her songs, Another Kind Of Fire is more a suggestion of her potential than a masterpiece in itself. It may only be a qualified success, but those seeking solace in songs will find the best moments on Another Kind Of Fire rewarding.

-Dan Warren

Track Listing:
1. Hollywood Ending
2. The Night
3. Lonely
4. Bonfire
5. Another Kind Of Fire
6. One Shot Deal
7. Save You Now
8. My Heart
9. Without A Fight
10. What Love Looks Like
11. Hollywood Ending (Reprise)

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