Editors' pick

Carsie Blanton

Singer-Songwriters
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Editorial Review

CARSIE BLANTON
Album review: "Idiot Heart"

Luray, Va., native Carsie Blanton has hit one out of the park.

The singer-songwriter's third album, "Idiot Heart," is funny. It's tender. It's cute. It's edgy. It's fresh. It's folksy without crossing into the realm of kitsch. The songs are clean, most with basic instrumentation and succinct arrangements, but each track bursts with its own pithy,
poignant commentary on that ficklest of organs for which the album is named.

Blanton's voice is lovely in its earnestness, but the album is more a vehicle for story and songwriting. The singer, now based in Philadelphia, has an uncanny sense for lyric. Her style is conversational and direct - even gleefully sarcastic at times - but it's also poetic and never overly loquacious. When paired with her understated vocals, it's a winning combination. In one particularly artful passage of the song "Chicken," she sings: "Loving you is like a hungry belly, empty as a whiff of smoke / Kissing you is like an open deli and I'm completely broke / You got a heart like a wire cage, I got a heart like a bird / All day long it sings your praise but I don't think you heard."

At times, the songs can feel a bit formulaic - once you've heard the first verse and chorus you can pretty much bet there won't be many surprises around the bend. But it doesn't matter. This is classic songwriting at its best.

--Jess Righthand, Jan. 20, 2012