Review: Kathleen Edwards, ‘Voyageur’

Review: Kathleen Edwards, ‘Voyageur’: Aidin Vaziri | Kathleen Edwards has described this as her divorce album. But as much as it is about the dissolution of her marriage to longtime collaborator Colin Cripps, the Canadian singer-songwriter’s third studio recording is really about new beginnings. Co-produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, her current boyfriend, it represents a major shift in attitude and sound from her last release, 2008’s “Asking for Flowers.” The lead single, “Change the Sheets,” is a full-bodied country-pop romp propelled by an insistent synth melody and wide-screen chorus; “For the Record” is a sparse late-night ballad that replaces the contrived clumsiness of Edwards’ previous work with a compelling air of restraint; and “Chameleon/Comedian” is the song that best answers the question, what if Bon Iver was a 33-year-old woman from Toronto? Guests include Norah Jones and Sean Carey. Although the comparison might make the responsible parties wince, the music on “Voyageur” is not a far cry from the high-gloss Americana of Lady Antebellum – although they probably won’t complain when it finds a similarly massive audience.

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