I remember writing a review of this chick's first album, Don't Look Away, for my school newspaper about 5 months before she showed up on One Tree Hill (the show that proved to be a useful launching pad for her musical career). It was weird, but it worked. She wasn't afraid to cross genres and her voice was beyond raw. I loved it.
Her second studio album, A Fine Mess, is... appropriately named. The music just isn't the same. That rough, spirited, blusey edge that made Don't Look Away so cool has been taken off her voice. Probably to make her more mainstream. She has a better choice in singles this time around though (hopefully). '99 Times' is hard to hate. She tries to get some of that edge back with 'Angel', but simple songs like 'Who You Are Without You' and 'Playing With My Heart' undermine it. Poor Kate. Maybe her hardcore fans will like it?
You can hear all these songs on her MySpace. The album is (still) streaming for free. It's on sale now.