The entire record sounds cast in sonic sepia tone. The vocal and instrumental distortion throughout is warm rather than harsh, making the record feel like a found treasure, each song a chronicle of the past. Rocking opener and album standout "To Be That Needle" is like a confession of love to the girl next door delivered through a tin can, while "Love Can Be A Tunnel" echoes off a highway bridge as a Packard Clipper rumbles overhead. On "Couches," Edmonds plunks down in front of a creaky piano to tell tales gathered on his travels to an eager audience bunched up on a ratty old couch.
By the end of Ladies on the Corner, Edmonds recasts the folk standard "Goodnight Irene," almost like a nod to listeners to let us know that although we have indeed taken a trip to the past, it's time to return to our own world. Despite its retro quality, Edmonds' debut solo album is imaginative and fresh, a trip well worth taking. (Missed Connection Records)