After two releases that each boasted moments of brilliance, Aussie alt-country princess Kasey Chambers emerges with her most focused release to date.

After two releases that each boasted moments of brilliance, Aussie alt-country princess Kasey Chambers emerges with her most focused release to date. In many ways a collection of dreams and hopes, "Wayward Angel" showcases a mature and confident artist. Sexy outback lounge tunes like "Pony" and the softly percolating wistfulness of "Hollywood" fit nicely with romantic anthems "Like a River" and the gorgeous "Lost and Found." This disc is more sparse and acoustic than its predecessors; banjo and thumping drums drive the haunting title cut, and "Follow You Home" is a bluegrass tour de force. Meanwhile, "For Sale" and "Mother" are laid-back country waltzes. But Chambers can still rock ("Guilty As Sin," "Saturated"). As a songwriter, Chambers has become a powerhouse, and producer Nash Chambers (her brother) knows just how to get the most out of her captivating vocals. A completely satisfying return.—RW

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