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Authentic Kim Carnes
Thomas M. Sipos | Santa Monica, CA | 11/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is Kim Carnes's last album of 100% original songs. After this one, it's only been re-issues and compilations. Carnes began singing country and "blue-eyed soul" in the early 1970s on the A&M label. She switched to EMI with 1979's ST. VINCENT'S COURT album, then hit it big with 1981's "Bette Davis Eyes" (released by EMI on the MISTAKEN IDENTITY album.) From then on, Carnes adopted a harder, rock/pop/dance image, the sort of MTV music heard on TV's MIAMI VICE.VIEW FROM THE HOUSE was Carnes's first (and last) album for MCA, released in 1988. In it, Carnes returns to her earlier country roots. She and her husband Davo wrote Kenny Roger's GIDEON album, so Carnes is familiar with country music, although this great album is still tinged (just a bit) with her early 1980s pop/rock/dance music sound. A unique blend of the Kim Carnes "sound.""
Carnes' Perfect "View"
T. Yap | Sydney, NSW, Australia | 05/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Prime Cuts: Crazy in Love, Just to Spend One Night with You, Brass and Batons
Carnes' husky alto, sometimes likened to a female Rod Stewart, is one of the most distinctive voices in music. Despite having carved for herself a laudable career in pop music including the Grammy awarded hit "Bette Davies' Eyes," Carnes has always had a foot in country music. In fact, she's the creator of such country greats such as Kenny Rogers and Ronnie Milsap's number 1 "Make No Mistake (She's Mine)," Vince Gill and Reba McEntire's career defining "Heart Won't Lie" and more recently Tim McGraw's plaintive ballad "You Don't Love Me Anymore." Released in 1988, with Jimmy Bowen and Carnes herself on the helm, "View from the House," finds Carnes returning to her country roots. Surrounded by the sound created by those delightful instruments long associated with the traditional country mores of fiddles, mandolin, fiddles and honky tonk piano, these 10 songs embraces a down home warmth.
Like music transposed from a western firm is the intro of "Just to Spend the Night With You" which itself is a work of art. While John Prine's poetic depiction of loneliness in "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness" is made even more stark with Carnes' gravel-voiced nuances. However, for fans who have had smitten by the more aggressive rock side of Carnes (a la her hits "More Love" and "Invisible Hands"), the Troy Seals co-penned "Heartbreak Radio" is a scorcher boasting some napalm guitars. Similarly, on the old Johnny Otis chestnut "Willie and the Hand Jive" Carnes indulges in some good old time New Orleans-blues drenched rock.
However, it's the ballads that are the real treats: most excellent is "Brass and Batons." Written by Carnes and longtime scribal cohort Donna Wesis, "Brass and Batons" is a poetically rich piece about the transident nature of fame and fortune. Sung with such searing honesty Is the social conscious ballad "Blood from the Bandit," a heartfelt decry of the destructive nature of the idol called money. Moving away from the more political issues, "Crazy in Love," later a number 2 hit for Conway Twitty, is a piano-based lament of love gone tepid.
Throughout music's history there are many who have tried to cross the divide between pop and country, this includes Neil Diamond, Joan Osborne, Jewel and here Kim Carnes. Even though nothing substantial (hit wise) resulted from this endeavor here, this is still one of Carnes most insightful, melodious and balanced CD to date. Imbued with lots of mandolin, steel guitars and even Lyle Lovett (who adds harmony vocals to "Willie and the Hand Jive"), this is Carnes at her country best.