I thought Kate Russell was a movie star? Maybe I’m just thinking of Kurt Russell and Kate Winslet? Anyways, that has nothing to do with what is present on Kate Russell’s album “Powerful Stuff”. The album cover does not immediately clue individuals in to what style of music that Russell would be creating for this album; current country is what individuals will get when “Powerful Stuff” is put on the changer. There is nothing to hold Russell back from putting out “Powerful Stuff” (the first track) out as a single for the country video music stations.
The track seems to be in line with all of the rest of the music that are played on the channels, albeit a little more serious than say a “Redneck Yacht Club”. The track feels descended much more from the seventies Southern rock tradition than from the fifties and sixties vein of country. This means that there is a good chance that Russell could conceivably make one or two tracks on “Powerful Stuff” into crossover hits. The type of country / rock / whatever that Russell commits to “Powerful Stuff” is varied; this means that “Stranded” throws in a little ZZ Top and Ted Nugent with the Dixie Chicks style that ey adopts during this track.
The only thing that can be construed as a negative during “Stranded” is that the guitar solo sounds a little canned, even if it does work with the rest of the track well. There is something that resembles a ballad during “What Is Love”; Russell is able to slow down the tempo without completely killing the momentum that ey accumulated during the first few tracks of “Powerful Stuff”. The use of a piano during this track is a nice addition, even if it only seems to cement the formula that Russell uses during “Powerful Stuff”. This formula is to build the vocal side of things heavily and then going into a solo, whether it be piano or guitar, and then coming back into the vocal tradition. Russell puts out a country album that will easily shoot up the country-pop charts in the near future. If you are a fan of stuff like Shania Twain or Gretchen Wilson, then “Powerful Stuff” may be up your alley. If you are a fan of metal, or punk, or anything “hard”, there is just not much here to help get listeners on Russell’s bandwagon.
Top Tracks: Stranded, Open My Eyes
Kate Russell – Powerful Stuff / 2006 Urunga / 10 Tracks / http://www.katerussellonline.com / Reviewed 26 July 2006