Kim Ware and the Good Graces “Ready” – Americana UK

Kim Ware and the Good Graces “Ready” – Americana UK

Thought provoking words, and dreamy guitar based music that grows on you with a few listens.

Ready is an album made up of pre-pandemic songs mixed with a few written under Lockdown.. Opening song ‘Capital R’ would perhaps have been better placed further down the running order. The relaxed groove of ‘Like A Bottle’ makes a better introduction to her dream pop inspired guitars and distant vocal. Ware’s voice comes across as a Kirsty MacColl from the Southern States. She’s been described by earlier reviewers as having a warbly Georgia drawl. If that was the case she has lost a lot of the “warble” on these two songs.

She calls ‘U2 (Means to An End)’ a “breakup rocker”, and it is a fairly grungy piece. Following that with the much quieter ‘So Many Questions’, a tribute to her late father is a bit of a sudden gear change, but the Neil Young flavoured song is one of the best on the album. ‘Stopped Making Plans’ is one of the most overt lockdown songs to emerge recently. “I booked a trip to Germany. Late last year, 2019. I should have known it wouldn’t come to pass. I hunkered down and wrote some songs. But they’re too sad, and way too long”. Ware seems to do best on these less rock oriented songs, her voice seems suited to them and the chiming guitars complement it well.

Recurring Dream’ is a less obvious pandemic song: “I have this recurring dream, I wish you’d tell me what it means. I’m in a car but there’s no driver, somehow I’m still safe. I think it’s about control or lack thereof, it’s hard to know. I can’t seem to make out the place”. Ware’s lyrics are mostly thoughtful as shown on ‘Odds and Evens’, her response to the events in Washington of 6th January 2021. “I couldn’t stop thinking, even though I don’t have kids, how the hell do we explain ourselves to our kids?” Ware says.

As is maybe inevitable with songs written over such a long period of time there are a few that are a bit patchy, but the second half of the album is all great tunes and especially lyrics. It’s well worth spending time with this album and getting to know Ware’s songs.

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