STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12070-1003 LABEL: Nonesuch 7559798072 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £11.79
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
In the late '80s Leslie Phillips caused a controversy and turned her back on the Christian music scene to change her name to Sam, sign a deal and go mainstream. Touted as the next big thing she recorded a number of high budget albums, produced by husband T Bone Burnett, and featuring top session players. But big time commercial success remained beyond Sam's grasp as she established herself as a cult success and recent recordings have seen her with smaller budgets and consequently a fresh, stripped down sound. She remains an enigmatic songwriter and a fine performer content to create artful songs that intrigue and yet are sparse and terse and over too quickly. Eight of the 13 songs come in under 150 seconds long. There are a few songs where the string quartet adds extra atmosphere to the songs, especially on the whimsical "Reflecting Light" and the more upbeat "Infiltration". The album is packed with Phillips' dense and oblique poetry which must mean something to her but leaves the listener enjoying the sound of the words and making up our own meanings. It is a beautiful album but personally I find its obscurity a little wearing.
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