Kim Carnes,
Chasin' Wild Trains
(CoraZong, 2005)

Having started out with the New Christy Minstrels, Kim Carnes is now firmly seated in that bastion of American music, Nashville. She is delighted to be where she is today, with the freedom to make a living doing the two things she likes most -- writing songs and performing.

Her new album, Chasin' Wild Trains, showcases both aspects of this very talented lady and reveals how she can indulge both sides of her life. The 12 songs provided are top class and should form part of the collection of Americana performers and listeners.

Carnes' beautiful and distinctive voice will captivate you from the opening track, "One Beat at a Time," a song of life and lost love that will resonate in many lives. She increases the tempo on "Just to See You Smile" as her throaty rendition of her own song again brings ordinary life into focus with well chosen lyrics and simple sentiments.

One of the most powerful songs on offer here is the magnificent "Where is the Boy," a well-constructed and performed song about drugs and the consequences. It does not preach. It lives a real life story of that sad reality and is all the more telling for its laidback quality.

The perceptive quality of Carnes' writing strikes the listener on every track. She taps into our lives -- the lives of the ordinary person -- with uncanny insights. Who, after a relationship, has not found the quiet of the lonely life pervasive? Listen to "Goodnight Angel" and relive it -- with less pain. These themes and insights continue on tracks like "Lucid Dreams" and "Runaway," among others.

One of my favourite tracks is the marvelous "Still Warmed By the Thrill," but "If I Was an Angel" outshines even that. This is a potential classic performed with feeling and an ideal voice. Please let some radio stations feature this lady and this track.

Kim Carnes has written hit songs for a number of the big names in music, but we miss out if we do not experience her songs -- co-written or solo -- delivered in her unique voice and style.

by Nicky Rossiter
6 January 2006

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