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Ks Choice
ALMOST HAPPY
(RED INK)

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The Belgian quintet best known for their strident single "Not an Addict" are more focused on self-awareness on this new double album "almost" being the operative word. Indeed, disc ones 13 tracks of introspective melancholy may have you looking for the "happy." But lead singer Sarah Bettens isnt really in a funk shes just working her way through a thirtysomething identity crisis. When in a smoky alto she sings, "Quiet time is underrated/I still cant stand to be alone/That might be why Im so unstable," it seems like some sort of therapy is in her near future.

With brother Gert, Bettens blends folk and rock; the result has the somber atmosphere of early Cranberries and acoustic roots that should appeal to the crowds who show up to see Indigo Girls, the duo Ks Choice are opening for this summer. Theres a lot of wistful acoustic balladry, and nothing as overly earnest as "Not an Addict" just a low-key journey through Bettens insecurities. The second disc comprises 15 tracks of live performances from the bands 2001 European outing. With songs from their eight-year career, including "Not an Addict," it works as a nice respite from disc one.

BY JONATHAN STERN

Issue Date: June 20 - 27, 2002
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