KARNEY – Creatures In The Garden

Karney Music 2023

Creatures In The Garden

Californian chanteuse goes to the rainbow’s end and comes back from the dark to shed a fresh light on timeless favorites.

The “old, new, borrowed and blue” formula has long been part of Anna Karney’s approach to sculpting a context of her albums, yet it never seemed as stunning as on this offering. Its pinnacle is the moment when the San Franciscan’s acoustically feathered take on “Rainbow In The Dark” – one of the covers that grace a few of her platters – bristles with riffs only to give way to the unplugged resurrection of the songstress’ own folk gem “Shell Shock Girl” from her 2002 debut, the gorgeous piece whose “it goes on and on” refrain should link the listener to another Ronnie James Dio classic. With “Heaven And Hell” serving as the amplitude of the vibe which the numbers of “Creatures In The Garden” spread to find mental equilibrium, there’s a concept, for the first time on a Karney record, in the album’s shape.

It begins and finishes with a fresh cut “Sinners And Saints” – the former version a ballad strummed almost solo, the latter a full-band endeavor – showing not only two facets of Anna’s approach to music but also her ability to shroud a tune, depending on circumstances, in totally different emotions and run the gamut from despair to hopefulness within a single song. So if the guitar-heavy remix of the brass-splashed “Across The Planet” and the vocal-driven “Aurora” feel simultaneously upbeat and anxious in their soaring swing and earthbound jangle, the bluesy return to “Eternity” exudes despondency via slider-kissed licks and Karney’s half-buried voice which will rise to the surface to wail to all the world before the end. And while the insistent “Wildfire” rides a catchy groove for the warbler to cast her worry on the audience, the album’s deliberately raw title track ventures, six strings blazing, into the proggy depth, and the singalong-inducing “Peace Is More” unpretentiously rocks in the name of joie de vivre.

Anna Karney’s is the garden of delights where creatures of her soul roam free, a place everyone would be happy to grace.


August 23, 2023

Category(s): Reviews
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