Maybe Definitely Really for Sure (self-released)

Jenny Carr 

Maybe Definitely Really for Sure
(self-released)

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The ambivalence in the title of Jenny Carr's album evokes the fluttering uncertainty in her songs. She's an unconfident lover, always pledging her heart to the wrong person (a mood summed up by the lyrical gem Life's just a goddamn tease). Ballads rule this 12-track collection, but Carr is more than just a girl with a broken heart and a guitar. She fronted KC act the Waiting List and played bass for indie-rock bands Anvil Chorus and Lights and Siren. For this solo project, for which Carr wrote everything, she has invited a host of collaborators who add more guitars, vocals, percussion and orchestral instruments. The resulting sonic texture feels a little bit country, a little bit rock, and refreshingly free of a Lilith Fair lilt. While hardly amateurish, For Sure maintains an unfinished quality — a little musical discordance here, a flat vocal waver there — that, rather than blemish the final product, keeps the recordings consistent with Carr's endearingly casual live performances and unguarded lyrics. It's possible to imagine Carr making this album alone, late at night in a messy bedroom. But then comes the joyful sound of her laughing in a studio, plus the beautiful strains of cello, violin, mandolin and trumpet. Whose bedroom could fit all that?

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