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Volume 68, Issue 92, February 10, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

'Rise to Me' takes alt-country higher

By Jaime Guillory
The Daily Cougar

Kim Richey takes alternative country to another level with her fourth album Rise to Me. The title is fitting because her lyrics are simple but meaningful, and her voice never screams, it rises like smoke.

Kim Richeyis newest album Rise to Me is a melancholy look at bad breakups and heartache.

Photo by James R. Minchin

Richey co-wrote all the songs on this album with the help of Bill Bottrell, who produced Sheryl Crow.

Richey, like Crow, has an angelic voice, and a majority of the songs sound like something Crow would write. Richeyis songs are about love and life, and she paints vivid pictures with her lyrics.

With the exceptions of "Cowards in a Brave New World," "The Circus Song (Canit Let Go)," "No Judges," and "Me and You," the songs are slow and solemn.

"A Girl in a Car" is about a girl leaving her town, thinking about a love that she lost.

"Iim still in love with you/ Iim going south, Iim going crazy/ What else am I suppose to do?/ Iim just a girl in a car leaving."

Most of Richeyis songs have a melancholy mood that would sadden the average listener. "Electric Green," a duet with Pete Droge, and "The Circus Song (Canit Let Go)" take you back to a time when life was much simpler.

"Hard to Say Goodbye" is again about breaking up. Even though the narrator has an agreement with this man that itis "better off this way," she still feels itis hard to say goodbye.

It is evident on the album that Richey puts her emotions into the songs when performing and recording. The music transforms the listener into the heartbroken or reminiscent woman Richey writes about.

Richey shows her religious side in "This Love."

"Makes me want to testify, stand up tell/ The world Iim saved/ Oh, daughters of Jerusalem."

One thing the album lacks is expressions of motivation or encouragement. This is a feminine album, but after crying over a man and thinking about the past, one must move on and start a new life without worrying about a man. Independence and self-value are messages missing from Rise.

If you want to wallow in your sorrow, most of the cuts will help you do that, but after you finish, you will have to buy something else to cheer you up.


Kim Richey

Lost Highway Records

The verdict: Richey deserves credit for conveying the dark side of love melodically but falls short by not taking her audience to the lighter side of life and relationships.
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