It’s unfair to pass this album off as another “generic” folk/roots album with raw, singer/songwriter production, even though that is the first impression I got when listening to Blue Bones for the first time. Kim Beggs‘ album presents her music as a delightful “work in progress” with the promise of a great payoff down the road.
The production is raw and simple with clever arranging making up for the lack of audio ear candy. At times, the songs sound similar, but each track brings a different feel and mood to the listener. For fans of analog recordings, the sound carries some of that analog warmth on the record. My complaint about the production is that it’s often too sparse, with the drums sounding way too far back and the organ sounding a little too artificial.
There are many parts on the album where Beggs’ band lacks that magic chemistry that makes a good roots record groove, allowing you to fall into the melody and lyrics; overall, their performance is average.
Beggs’ voice is developing. I found myself comparing her to a host of similar singers. It becomes clear who her influences are and where her vocal inspiration lies as you listen through the album. I was occasionally unimpressed with her voice, as it sounded too generic and forgettable. Lyrically, Blue Bones is rich with melodic songs from the heart, even though at times, you can guess the next line. Some songs tend to be overdone lyrically. This made me reach for the arrow key to advance to the next track, a sign that Beggs’ songwriting is still developing.
A pleasant journey into the folk/roots genre, Beggs’ path to being a fully realized singer/songwriter is in the initial stages of being forged. I’d recommend the album if you are a fan of folk/roots music and female singer/songwriters, especially if you like country music. Whether fans see the potential in her through her music will determine whether Kim Beggs develops her singing and songwriting and evolves in her musical expression. – Kevin Shaw