The second Rykodisc release for Kelly Willis is an acoustic-based, subtle affair that finds Willis in confident, if not overwhelming, voice.
The second Rykodisc release for Kelly Willis is an acoustic-based, subtle affair that finds Willis in confident, if not overwhelming, voice. Deft picking, relaxed vocals, and nicely arranged backup harmonies lend a pleasant backporch quality to such gems as "If I Left You" and the bluesy "Getting to Me." The Willis-penned title cut is well-produced, and features an effective, plaintive vocal, but Willis' understated style doesn't quite do justice to the rollicking instrumentation on "You Can't Take It With You." On the other hand, she lends some passion to both the intriguing ballad "Don't Come the Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim!" and the stylish "Find Another Fool." Willis is highly capable as a songwriter—her "Not What I Had in Mind" and "Reason to Believe" are dreamy and melodic. As a vocalist, she is no powerhouse, but given the subdued nature of this project, her soft, sleepy approach is often appropriate.—RW