Karen Kay Whitley is a lesbian singer-songwriter and recording artist based out of Houston, Texas. WOUNDS OF MY OWN MAKING is her debut solo release and consists of several decades worth of her original material brought together for the first time to tell a story of her evolving understanding of the nature of love, of herself, and of the destructive tendencies with which the best of us can often unwittingly sabotage ourselves... over and over and over again. The tracks are alternately melancholy and upbeat and depict an honest woman trying every which way to get things right -- and she does, in the end.
A bonus for lesbian listeners: Although this is assuredly an album with universal appeal and applicability, one of the most refreshing things about it is that Whitley never hides the fact that she is a woman singing to and about the women she has loved. These are not generic, run-of-the-mill love songs, nor does the artist position herself lyrically as a man or as a wooer of one. In putting out real, true-to-life songs about lesbian love, Karen Kay Whitley and WOUNDS OF MY OWN MAKING contribute to the filling of a crucial gap in the music world -- one that will continue to narrow with the artist's planned release of a collaborative album entitled Lesbian Love Songs later in 2013.
"Wounds of My Own Making", the album's title track, is where the artist really gets to the bottom line and decides she's got to hash some things out with herself... because she's got plenty of sad songs and sure don't need any more. This is not a song about physical self-harm so much as it is about the more general ways that people walk around with wounds that they may think have been inflicted by others when the truth is that they've done it to themselves. The lyrics of the bridge: "I've just gotta take one step in the right direction. Leave behind the aftermath of my own destruction. There's no time to waste; this step is worth taking. There's no one left to blame for the wounds -- of my own making." and "Living out forgotten dreams left rotting in my soul, finding compassion for the one I hate the most, was the hardest part of loving the enemy in me was the only truth that ever set me free - from the wounds, from the wounds, of my own making" mark the first REAL moment of transformation on the album, and it's no accident that what comes after, in the last track, "Finally Found" is far, far sweeter, better, and more fulfilling than anything that's gone before.
"Finally Found" is a beautiful track that marks the end of this segment of the artist's journey, and many hopes that it will fuel your own cathartic, blissful, stable love as well. Her words say it best: "I can't believe I finally found, someone who believes in me. I know you'll always stand by my side. You make my world alright." and prove that happy endings really can come true. That is, if you are willing to take the age-old assumptions, excuses, and patterns of behavior off "repeat", buckle down, and do the hard work of figuring out who you really are, what you really want, and what you really have to keep an eye out for, to keep from getting in the way.
Read more song reviews at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/karenkaywhitley
Recordings and production by the artist's wife, Rebekah Whitley, capture a true, human, intimate sound that speaks to lovers and lovers-of-love everywhere - city folk, country folk, gay folk, straight folk, young folk, old folk, and everyone in between.
(Review courtesy of Three-Thirteen Publishing)