Total Freedom

Kathleen Edwards - Total Freedom
Critic Score
Based on 10 reviews
2020 Ratings: #285 / 794
User Score
Based on 38 ratings
Liked by 2 people
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A warm, loving return from this Canadian roots rock powerhouse.


Kathleen Edwards is back making music after a five-year break, and it was worth the wait. The songs on Total Freedom are lyrically delightful and melodically charming.


Edwards is sharp here as she runs through a wide range of emotions on songs with a strong, lived-in feel that wasn’t always there when she was younger.


Total Freedom is aptly named, as these songs are the work of a songwriter who demands no more and no less; now more than ever, Kathleen Edwards is living and making music in a way that honors her own spirit, and it reminds us why you don't take the work of someone this talented for granted.

After a self-imposed exile from the music industry, the Ottawa singer-songwriter is clear-eyed and serene, writing just for the thrill of discovery.
Spectrum Culture
Much of the album finds Edwards in struggle, but she presents an expansive range in her meditations.

Despite the underwhelming musicality of Total Freedom, many of these songs still pack some undeniable emotional force.

American Songwriter

While her singing remains strong and she is emoting about issues close to her, these tracks would benefit from more musical muscle. Regardless, even if Total Freedom isn’t her finest work, it’s encouraging that Edwards has returned to releasing new material and doing what she does best.

A fine and relaxed record of a woman who knows she can return to her Coffeehouse any time and is no more trying to be "the next big name". The songs sound intimate and very personal, written with hard earned wisdom and a passion for narrating. Productionwise I could have done without some sounddesigns that remind me of 80´s AOR. Otherwise I would enjoy it even more.
It’s been more than a minute since we’ve heard from Kathleen Edwards, and in the eight years since “Voyageur,” an entire new generation of alt-country figures has emerged in her wake. But though the roots music universe has flourished in Edwards’ absence, nobody has quite filled her niche — her flooring debut “Failer” came off like a Northerner’s version of “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road,” and over her next few albums she continued ... read more
After a self-imposed exile from the music industry, the Ottawa singer-songwriter is clear-eyed and serene, writing just for the thrill of discovery.

Near the end of Total Freedom, Kathleen Edwards sings a song for her dog. Narrating in the second-person to Redd, her golden retriever, the 42-year-old songwriter reflects on the day they first met: “You were so sweet, immediately.” She goes on to describe their walks together, the compliments they received from neighbors, and the ... read more
Kathleen Edwards - Total Freedom

Genre: Alt Country
Country: Canada

Final Verdict: 55% (Pleasant Album)
Yearly Ranking: 518th / 706

Highlight: Birds on a Feeder

Made me think of:
Lene Marlin
Alanis Morissette
Brandi Carlisle
Ilse Delange
Lucinda Williams
Has some pretty good songs, but the rest are kind of just basic country/folk songs
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Year End Lists

#44/NPR Music

Track List

  1. Glenfern
  2. Hard On Everyone
  3. Birds On a Feeder
  4. Simple Math
  5. Options Open
  6. Feelings Fade
  7. Fools Ride
  8. Ashes To Ashes
  9. Who Rescued Who
  10. Take It With You When You Go
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Added on: May 19, 2020