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Stronger

Kate Earl

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Album Review

Kate Earl's third studio-album, 2012's Stronger, finds the singer/songwriter eschewing the slick R&B production of her 2009 self-titled album and returning to the more rootsy, laid-back sound of her 2005 debut, Fate Is the Hunter. Although that album was itself the work of an all-star production/recording team featuring such luminaries as Mitchell Froom, Michael Penn, and others, it was an effective platform for showcasing Earl's naively sweet vocal style and earnest, folkie songwriting, with tunes seeming to flow effortlessly from her lips. It also had an organic, largely acoustic sound, lending an air of honesty and grit to Earl's somewhat wide-eyed, gamine hippie persona. Conversely, her 2009 major-label debut attempted to amp up her homespun, Los Angeles-via-small-town-Alaska-image with a more contemporary soul sound that favored brassy horn sections and funky beats. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't as believable or as intimate as Earl's previous work. Smartly, she returns to that more intimate, homespun sound on Stronger. A classicist at her core, Earl fills Stronger with traditional, guitar-based songs that, while perfectly suited for modern radio play, wouldn't sound out of place in the laid-back '70s California. It also doesn't hurt that Earl collaborated here with several like-minded country and folk-influenced musicians, including Brett Dennen and Blake Mills, whose presence reinforces the album's positive, communal spirit. To these ends, songs like the romantic anthem "I Don't Want to Be Alone" and the moody, sexy "Raven" are melodically infectious numbers that benefit from light organ touches, twangy guitar lines, and nicely harmonized backing choruses. This sort of Laurel Canyon-esque vibe brings to mind the work of Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne, imbuing Stronger with a tangible joy. Perhaps some of that joy also comes from the fact that Earl had a baby in the preceding years since her sophomore album, and songs like the title track and the shimmery, introspective "One Woman Army" find Earl ruminating on her newfound strength and sense of purpose as a mother and as an artist.

Customer Reviews

Another Great Album from Kate Earl

I first found Kate Earl back when her song "Melody" was the free single of the week. That song is by far the most played of the free singles, and it has been in my top 25 since it came out. Doing some research on some of her earlier stuff and all, it is great to hear this; it sounds like it is all her own, and not just a pop album; it is not so heavy on the studio editing, and it is just a great album instrumentally in my opinion.

I give this album 5/5 and with the opinion that Kate Earl has done her time for sure, and should definitely hit big time in the near future, provided she wants too. Keep up the great work!

LONG waited !!!!!

I could not wait for this album to be released.... and to much of my amazement it is as usual ..... AMAZING !!! I Love EVERY album from Kate Earl , she seems to keep her same style with adding a fresh modern sound..... if you LOVE this album as much as i do... PLEASE listen to her other albums .......

amazing and special

Kate !!! This is an amazing album . I hope everyone would enjoyed it as much as i do. I like your music and your spirit Every song is special and unique .
My favorite tracks are 'I dont want to be allone' and"Wicked".Good luck

Biography

Born: 1983 in Chugiak, AK

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Songwriter Kate Earl grew up in Chugiak, Alaska, where she began her career by blending the phrasing of Cat Power and Björk with the folk-chanteuse influence of Joni Mitchell. Although heavily involved with her local church, Earl moved to Los Angeles in 2004 and quickly made an impression on the town, scoring airplay on KCRW and Indie 103.1 while catching the ear of Record Collection, a Venice-based label that eventually signed her. She continued to log...
Full Bio
Stronger, Kate Earl
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