“Don’t be like that,” Kathleen Edwards pleads on “Buffalo,” the lead track off her new album, Asking for Flowers. It’s been three years since we’ve heard from her, but if it takes another five to deliver music half as good as her newest effort, then I’ll wait patiently. Edwards has found what works best to expose her talents, combining gentle piano, pedal steel, and relentless guitar from her husband, Colin Cripps. Flowers intelligently attacks real subjects, confronts real issues, and obsesses over what is personal and what is human. It sounds sublime.
From the rocking and witty “The Cheapest Key” to the somber storytelling of “Alicia Ross,” Edwards has decided to confront what is meaningful to her, with confident vocals being a piercing weapon. She has become an observant songwriter, a lovely Canadian who has decided to pour her heart out at just the right moment. It took some time, but Asking for Flowers reveals that there is plenty of fuel left in the tank for Edwards to rule the highways and bridges that connect from Ottawa to New Orleans.