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The Real Thing

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Album Review

English singer/songwriter Kate Walsh chose a more interactive route for her third full-length album by releasing a downloadable single every month, starting in March and ending in late autumn. The resulting Real Thing, an austere but homey collection of ten songs, each of which was recorded live in the studio, feels as effortless as the falling snow that permeates the lovely, holiday-themed final track. Walsh operates comfortably within the soft confines of the coffee-ringed, confessional singer/songwriter genre. Her sparse arrangements (often just piano and vocal), poetic yet succinct lyrics, and lilting voice (a dead ringer for the Sundays' Harriet Wheeler) elevate simple love songs like "You Are Home" and the title cut, and help to keep darker tracks like "The Wolves" and "The Dark Night" from spiraling into rote diary entries of post-adolescent melodrama. Lucid, comfy, and occasionally transcendent, The Real Thing more than lives up to its moniker.


Born: 1983 in Burnham-On-Crouch, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

British singer/songwriter Kate Walsh became one of the U.K.'s most celebrated newcomers with the release of her second album, Tim's House, which became the first album by an unsigned artist to ever top the digital charts. Born in 1983 in Burnham-on-Crouch, a quiet fishing community in the town of Essex, she was surrounded by a wide variety of music while growing up, from her father's Pink Floyd records to her brother's electronic music. While still a young girl, Walsh took piano lessons and developed...
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The Real Thing, Kate Walsh
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