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Music Review: Chambers listens to 'little bird'

Music Review: Chambers listens to 'little bird'

Kasey Chambers, "Little Bird" (Sugar Hill)

July 14th, 2011 by DAVID BAUDER, AP Entertainment Writer in News

With a girlish voice and weakness for songs that put an aching vulnerability on display, Australian country rocker Kasey Chambers sometimes seems a little delicate.

That history lends extra power to the title cut of her new disc. Chambers sings of a "little bird" who tells her she might get her man back "if I shut my mouth and don't make a scene" or suppress her individuality in some other way.

She eventually concludes: "I don't want you that bad." It's a strong statement of empowerment and a terrific song, too. The flip side is it takes the wind out of low self-esteem songs like "Invisible Girl," where she's another nowhere girl pining for love.

Chambers resembles a junior version of Lucinda Williams in the "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" era. That's not to diminish her; Lucinda sets a pretty high standard. Chambers' band crackles, moving easily between mandolins and crunching electric guitars. She writes solid songs and deserves a bigger following here.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: We like Chambers best when displays what's unique about her. In this case, it's "Nullarbor (The Biggest Backyard)," where she sings of her unconventional childhood growing up in an Australian wilderness area.