Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Album Review: Kirsten Thien, Delicious
Artist: Kirsten Thien
By mandate it seems that every white woman in the blues genre is compared to Bonnie Raitt. While the yardstick is immense, the expectation has become a cliché. On her third album, Delicious, Kirsten Thien, another redheaded blues woman, proffers an exceptional album that has immense commercial potential. The production, playing and vocal lines are more suburban than urban but the textures and performances make for a world class blues album. Of the albums eleven tracks, eight are co-written by singer and guitarist Thien. Covers include; Willie Dixon’s ‘I Ain’t Superstitious,’ Ida Cox’s, ‘Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues,’ and ‘Taxi Love’ by Charlie Feldman and Jon Tiven. While ‘Taxi Love’ is the weak link in an otherwise excellent record, the songs ‘Ain’t That the Truth’ and ‘A Woman Knows’ are brilliant ballads that programmers may want to investigate for broadcast. For a more up tempo romp ‘Treat ‘Im Like a Man’ is a powerful ‘morning after’ response to the genres abundance of cheating songs. ‘Get Outta the Funk, Get into the Groove’ is a song that broadens the records reach. The record’s opening track, a horn driven, groove laden ‘’Love That’s Made to Shame’ is tasty and intelligent as the production and arrangements give the singer room to move amid: legendary Chess Records player Hubert Sumlin provides a guitar solo along with Andy Snitzer on Tenor Sax and the albums producer Erik Boyd on backing vocals.
This is a very solid, immediately enjoyable album that a wide base of blues fans should readily embrace. Those looking backwards may not connect as readily with this contemporary offering which showcases Thien building a sound upon the genres offerings from the era of Little Feat up until the present. This album is at least six songs deep for radio airplay. If one is able to judge a book by its cover, or in this case a Compact Disc, this is a well thought out, emotionally pure effort that shows the blues in, potentially, its most viable resurgence. Thien is an artist worth watching, closely.