Rock / Pop / Alternative
Another Sweet Mess
Artist: Kirstin Candy
Produced by: Liquid 8 Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was watching one of my favorite television shows, Birds of Prey. It was close to the end of the fourth episode, Three Birds and a Baby. Huntress had just lost someone very special to her. She was seated on a swing in a park, her emotions swirling from anger to pain to sorrow to regret. Somber music began to play in the background and the following lyrics were heard: “Won’t you forgive me for my sin? / Maybe then you’d let me in / Haven’t I suffered enough? / Pontius Pilate wasn’t nearly as tough / I’m only flesh and blood / I come so easily undone.”
When I first heard that song back in 2002, I simply had to know the rest of the lyrics and who sang it. Once I had read the full lyrics of Flesh and Blood by Kirstin Candy, I decided that I really wanted to hear more of this singer/songwriter’s work. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t have the money to purchase her latest album, Another Sweet Mess – other things like food and bills were a tad more pressing just then. Now, all of these years later, still loving the song Flesh and Blood, I was able to hunt down and purchase that album. I couldn’t wait to pop Another Sweet Mess into my CD player.
For those of you who don’t know anything about Kirstin Candy, she is a singer and songwriter whose love for music began when she was a young girl growing up in Gainesville, Florida. Inspired by Elton John, Kirstin took lessons and learned how to play the piano. When her family moved to California, Kirstin decided to become a concert pianist. Her first attempts were successful and she continued to delve into other forms of music, taking music classes and joining choir. Shortly after college, Kirstin Candy formed a band called Circus Frequency and began playing in various locations around California. However, in an effort to fulfill that dream of becoming a singer/songwriter like Elton John, Kirstin decided to strike out on her own, writing her own material, selling music to films and performing in various locations. Since Another Sweet Mess’ debut in 2002, Kirstin Candy has followed up with two more albums, Glimpse and La Vie En Rouge.
Now, back to Another Sweet Mess - I had some high expectations for this CD. After all, I had already heard and fallen in love with Flesh and Blood and I had sampled some songs from La Vie En Rouge from Kirstin Candy’s MySpace page. And yet, I was completely unprepared for my reaction to this album. Kirstin Candy’s vocals are reminiscent of Sheryl Crow or Sarah McLachlin. The vocals are crisp and clear and sung with great feeling. The music is extremely enjoyable and I often found myself tapping out the beats of songs on the album. In Another Sweet Mess, Kirstin Candy shows listeners her range as an artist. The genre represented on the album range from pop to rock to alternative and there is even a smattering of reggae in there. She excels in every attempted genre featured on the album.
But what I love the best about this album are the lyrics. They tell a story. Whether it is about love found or lost, going with the flow of life, hope, hurt, redemption or confidence in yourself, the lyrics are easily understood, incredibly meaningful and often catchy. I often found myself singing along to songs. Of course, it also helps that the album offers the lyrics of each song, but I know that I would have been singing along after one listen without having the lyrics typed out in front of me. After all, that was how I had looked up Flesh and Blood in the first place – by typing the lyrics I had heard on a television show into the computer. One particular song, Money, stood out in particular as something that everyone could definitely relate to, especially in these economic times. The song discusses how easily money comes and goes and just how slippery that dollar can be: “…I had a dollar only yesterday / The next thing you know, it slipped away / Moving right along from one hand to another / To the congressman’s wallet / From the purse of your grandmother…” I also enjoyed Be Who You Are, a song that encourages you to take pride and be confident in who you are.
After listening to Another Sweet Mess, I learned that I loved every song listed on the album, but I soon discovered that there was more to this album. For one thing, there was a bonus track entitled Whisper - and yes, I loved this song, too. Also, if you open up the booklet included with the album, you will discover a poem. This poem, written by Kirstin Candy, cleverly includes every single title of every single song, listed or unlisted, featured on the album Another Sweet Mess. And not only does it make sense, it is very well written.
In closing, I wish that I had purchased this album years ago! I truly hope that Kirstin Candy continues to sing and write songs in the future. Her lyrical and vocal talents are a treat and I’m truly surprised that mainstream radio isn’t playing her music. But don’t take my word for it – check out Another Sweet Mess and decide for yourself. You won’t be disappointed!