Exclusive Daily Download: "Yellowcake," Kaki King

Frail, human guitar wizardry from Kaki King.

Published July 31, 2006 7:01AM (EDT)

Kaki King's solo acoustic guitar wizardry, which brought her fame -- and for a brief time, a major label record deal -- was not at all to my taste, heavy on technical trickery but artistically uninteresting and a bit tasteless. Her latest, "Until We Felt Red," with King adding vocals to many tracks, comes as a pleasant surprise, with her considerable guitar mastery put to the service of a far more compelling musical vision. On "Yellowcake" she plays everything -- guitar, bass, bass drum, brushes, bells and lap steel. It's a gorgeous track, with layered vocals midway between nursery rhyme and angelic choir, and King's guitar fingerpicking breathes and courses with life, not effortlessly fluid (although I have no doubt she could make it sound that way if she wanted to), but imbued with real human emotion and frailty.

-- T.B.

By Salon Staff

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