Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Jeff's Best of 2020 - #5: Kathleen Edwards - Total Freedom

When a favorite artist takes some time off, you both feel good that they'e doing what they need to do to stay in form but also angsty about the lack of new output. Kathleen Edwards, an all-time favorite of mine, famously quit music and opened a coffee shop. That we recieved new music at all was a pleasant surprise, and that it was this good even moreso.

While Voyaguer was a solid record, it didn't feel like Kathleen Edwards in a lot of ways. Total Freedom embraces its title in every way, sounding like the record she wanted to make as opposed to, well, one more song the radio won't like. So you have an opener like "Glenfern" that sets the table, you have lead single "Options Open" that sounds like classic Kathleen Edwards, you have rock-adjacent "Hard on Everyone," and the next thing you know you have a great album.

There's some irony that Kathleen Edwards left music at what many saw as the peak of her career, and she chose to come back when we're all stuck indoors, lacking the very Total Freedom this album espouses. Either way, I'm glad she's back and well, and I hope it stays that way.

Songs of note: "Glenfern," "Options Open," "Hard on Everyone," "Ashes to Ashes."

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