I hate Kathryn Hallberg. I hate the fact that she is, at just 14 years of age, already a mature songwriter, guitarists, and singer of undeniable skill and exquisite appeal. I hate that her debut EP, No Surprise, produced by Harold Ruben and Kyle Hutton at Red Tree is four songs of perfect acoustic pop that expertly refuses to tread the trail of slime left in Miley Cyrus' wake.
I hate how her songs show that she has seen the world's wheel roll over the butterfly of love and hope, and has only let it temper her into a benevolent siren. I hate that the fourth track, "No Surprise" is a live-recording opening with a sweet, unself-conscious assertion that the heart-rending ballade was written when she was eleven, and how you can literally hear her hold the audience in a velvet grip.
I hate her grasp of irony, her effortless strumming, her resemblance to a kind of empowered-chick pop-rock that has left us for heartless Katy Perry gutter-pop, and her sincerity. I hate the opening track, "Gonna." and all of its kitschy and catchy rhymes over Matt Medearis' Heartbreaker drums.
In fact, I hate everything about this beautiful, beautiful record. Don't think I'm joking. Kathryn Hallberg has done it better, she's done it younger, and... oh yeah, she's done it better than the rest of us. Oh God, I hate her. Stupid, lousy, no-good once-in-a-lifetime musical genius.
With Jack Saunders, Mark Beets and Dan Scott, 7 p.m. tonight at Main Street Crossing, 111 W. Main, Tomball, 281-290-0431 or www.mainstreetcrossing.com.