Karen Haglof plays music. Rock, country, swing, folk, jazz and elements beyond. Haglof shifts sounds and ideas almost constantly. Her previous three albums shared this trait, but I think she's mastered her schizophrenic approach on this set.

Karen Haglof
One Hand Up

I suppose this might be considered art rock or even prog--no, just some prog and space in the mix as well. Haglof practiced medicine for decades, and perhaps that informs the unfussy precision to the way she deftly shifts lines between and even within songs. Perhaps that's thinking too much.

Which Haglof does not. Despite the full hopper of ideas, sounds and grooves, Haglof makes it all work. Everything does come together, though I couldn't hazard a guess as to the single piece that completes the puzzle. Perhaps the answer is that there are lots of such pieces.

This is an album that invites analysis, but I prefer to enjoy the visceral thrill of living in Haglof's fertile mind. This raucous set is just the tonic for those who want an easy listen that will satisfy for hundreds of repeats. Another wonder, though that's hardly a surprise. Haglof is rapidly becoming a not-so-secret star.

Jon Worley

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