On Disc: Kim Barlow

Album: Champ

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Champ by Kim Barlow

Kim Barlow
Jericho Beach

2 stars

Kim Barlow, a Montreal-born folk signer, releases her fourth album filled with the same ‘60s hippie folk sound for which she is known.

The stories told through her poetic lyrics, along with the cheerful melodies she plays on the banjo and the piano make this album somewhat bearable.

Her voice, however, somehow ruins even the best song on this album.

That’s not to say that if someone else were to sing Barlow’s songs that the album would be the star of next summer’s Junos " although surprisingly she was nominated in the roots/traditional category in 2003.

Some of the songs on this album might be worth listening to if sung by a decent vocalist, such as the track “But He Don’t,” but the majority of Barlow’s songs are boring stories that would barely qualify as amateur poetry.

Still, Champ is not a total writeoff. Barlow’s talented use of the banjo and the piano along with the occasional drumbeat gives this album a unique sound.

In the end, however Champ is nothing more than a rookie.

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