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I listened to this album for a couple of weeks, puzzled by my own feelings towards it. I figure it’s an average-to-good country-folk album. Let me explain. The album was produced by Michael Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies, and produced well, with lots of interesting bells and whistles, atmosphere. The core of the album is Gautheir’s story, a moving and very true story about her birth out of wedlock, subsequent adoption (she is an adoptee), and the relationships (mostly estranged) that follow. The Foundling is a song cycle on these experiences, a narrative that unfolds over the length of the album. It’s a moving story, and the songs are written well, and that’s what really stands out on the album. That is what it’s about. My one hangup, maybe a major one, is Gauthier’s voice. It’s okay, but the performances aren’t good enough (not country enough, perhaps) to carry every one of her songs. I love the tune Goodbye for instance, but Gauthier doesn’t carry it as well as she might. But then, she kills the excellent closing number, The Orphan King (“the superhero of suffering”). She’s a little bit inconsistent. But that shouldn’t stop you from checking it out.

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