Karen Choi is a singer/songwriter born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska and first picked up a guitar at thirteen years of age. Many years laters she released her sophomore effort entitled Through Our Veins which is rooted in Americana tradition and country.
The album has an impressive amount of contributors and organic instrumentation. It’s not exactly a sparse album. Upright bass, pedal steel, violin, mandolin, dobro, guitar and banjo are just some of the instruments implemented on this album. The production is stellar. It’s unequivocally radio ready sound quality that sounds good on any speaker.
The album starts with “Road To Tennessee.” For the first twenty seconds or so you are treated to Choi singing acapella. It’s a brief and effective introduction to her warm dynamic voice. The song ends up being a mix of kinetic energy and nostalgia. Her vocals carry the song but my ears kept gravitating towards the dense array of instrumentation. The violin playing was exceptional.
The opener is no fluke. “Anywhere You Go” is another success and you could definitely make the argument that this could be the single. The chorus is catchy in an FM radio type of way that gets stuck in your head. “Nineteen” is a slower more melancholy, nostalgic affair. She sings about being nineteen again and reflects on the past.
I can’t say there were any duds as the album progressed but there were some highlights. “100 Year Flood” has a little attitude and mystery while “Pictures on the Wall” is sweet and tender in a number of ways. “In the Morning” is a great, minimal song revolving around upright bass, percussion and vocals. Great track.
It’s obvious that Through Our Veins is an album that took a lot of dedication and time from a lot of people. Their efforts were certainly noticed by yours truly. Recommended.
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