Sam Phillips - Cruel Inventions

Tuesday 1st October 1991
Sam Phillips - Cruel Inventions
Sam Phillips - Cruel Inventions

RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 25427-20491

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Sam (thanks to husband producer T Bone Burnett) has wisely returned to the same jang-ling, raw-nerved, acoustic soundscape that contributed to the classic status turning of 'The Turning' (she was Leslie then of course) while her voice has never sounded more eery. Lyrically however she seems to be happy to communicate insight when she finds it (The beat generation all goes on the morning train/And another dream goes by") but is clearly better at pricking the bubbles of modern man's intellectual support systems then articulating any hopeful alternative. Presumably, her tussle with claustrophobic evangelism (about which she still snipes at in interviews) means she cannot bring herself to point directly to the healer of hearts but when her lyrics as they do on some tracks here descend to total-consciousness doggerel lacking any power to communicate anything other than confusion one is left a little sad. The deluded radical chic within the church will no doubt proclaim this as her greatest album. But it's not. Just fine music from a dear sister who's still to find again her lyrical way.

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