BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
While it would be fair to call Where The Pavement Grows a comeback, it’s more accurate to assess it as a rebirth, given the fact that Kimm Rogers’ last solo album was released some 21 years ago. That’s a remarkably long time, especially in the fickle music biz where even a single year of absence can cause a fickle public to quickly forget. Nevertheless, after two albums recorded for Island Records in the early ‘90s — neither of which caused even a ripple — Rogers was released from the label. She subsequently relocated to Idaho and joined a band, but ultimately decided to return to L.A, and make more music of her own.
It’s fortuitous that she did, because Where The Pavement Grows is nothing less than a work of incredible transcendence, the kind of effort that easily establishes an artist’s imprint and jumpstarts a career in a single sweep. Working with producer/musician Julian Coryell, she sets the bar high even at the outset, courtesy of album opener “Rain,” a wistful song song of reflection that’s as visceral as it is revealing. “Twenty-Three” comes across as an anthem of sorts, a deliriously defiant declaration of independence that breeches the narrow divide between youthful insurgence and the brink of responsibility. The swaying yet sturdy “Gravity” is a pretty pastiche, neatly complemented by the song that follows, the assertive and assuring “As Good As It Gets.” From that point on, the remainder of the album follows suit, all lithe and cheery without ever sinking to the sanguine.
The set list culminates with “Star Filled Canopy,” a song bearing such upbeat optimism, it could serve as a statement for Rogers’ career overall. A remarkable record in every sense, Where The Pavement Grows suggests that Rogers’ rejuvenated career path remains wide open.
DOWNLOAD: “Gravity,” “Star Filled Canopy,” “Twenty-Three”