Album review: Billy The Kid - Stars, Exploding

19:03 21 February 2013

Billy The Kid - Stars, Exploding

Billy The Kid - Stars, Exploding

Archant

Billy’s probably a nice girl, but her lack of conviction on this sophomore record will really get your goat.

The producers of low-rent, dubious US documentaries and teen drama like 16 And Pregnant, Exes And Ohs, Gene Simmons’ The Family Jewels and My 600lb Life seem to think Billy The Kid’s easy rhythms, strummed acoustic guitar and vanilla vocals are perfect fodder for injecting an extra element of emotion into their wares.

Her indistinct voice, singing familiar lyrics about ‘taking chances and jumping boxcars’ while the ‘cop cars are playing our song’ (Boxcars) have most of what little life they had sucked out of them with dead-eyed delivery and wishy-washy production.

It’s a shame, as the Canadian singer-songwriter played at birthday parties and private concerts to fund her first album. But her mettle seems to be kept under-wraps, excepting the much-needed passion of Take Me Out Baby and the pensive piano of New Orleans Night.

The MOR Americana suggests a latter-day Sheryl Crow-in-waiting, but these songs too often veer from delicate to the musical equivalent of a magnolia paint job.

2 stars

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