Monday, December 19, 2011

Carol Kleyn Gets Harpy

If you read this blog/site at all you kind of know my feelings toward folk music, singer-songwriters, alt-country, etc. You know my general dislike of all thing acoustic, moany, strummy, and the like. As I see it, acoustic music is the musical equivalent of scraping nails on chalk boards; it drives me crazy.

Well after saying it drives me nuts, lo and behold here's one Carol Kleyn and her long delayed, to the tune of 35 years, debut album. As if to test my ear drums ability to cope, her album Love Has Made Me Stronger is an album packed to rafters with fairy folk that's so fey, so light, and so acoustic my head almost exploded. Unlike, most of her peers Carol Kleyn takes a completely different approach to making acoustic music. For example, rather than lug a guitar around everywhere, Carol Kleyn instead lugs a harp. Yes, a harp. She literally plucks, sighs, and aligns her chakras to the sound of a harp and a piano. It's interesting that her instrument of choice is a harp, but unfortunately the results are the same; an album that's just too much monotony for me to handle.

At her best, Carol Kleyn occasionally sounds like she wants to be Carole King or Joni Mitchell and it's especially evident when she leaves the harp behind and sits behind the piano. It's during these moments behind the keys that Love Has Made Me Stronger is almost tolerable to my ears. Unfortunately, those moments are few and far between and I'm left with a slightly odd, but none-the-less still acoustic record that's a bit grating for me. Sorry.

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