Sam Phillips - Don't Do Anything

Published Friday 26th December 2008
Sam Phillips - Don't Do Anything
Sam Phillips - Don't Do Anything

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 51244-14859
LABEL: Nonesuch 257020
RRP: £15.79

Reviewed by Simon Eden

To suggest that Sam Phillips is a complex person maybe an understatement. With this, her 13th album since 1983, Sam presents an art house ensemble of emotional paradoxes in the poetry of American folk served on a platter of simple grunge rock. Each track is a different picture in a thespian gallery that lends more to reflection than understanding. "My Career In Chemistry" initially sounds like it could be about recreational drug use, but then moves into personification of the drug to tell of relationship turmoil. The lyric that speaks of "rational explanations" thus appears ironic. Compare this to the contradictory illogical lyrics such as "I love you when you don't do anything, when you're useless I love you more" or "outside the domain of your affective powers.I had a souvenir from a trip I'd never taken." Whatever the inspiration the complexity of human emotional turmoil is prevalent. Her song "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us" features on the critically acclaimed 'Raising Sand' by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss which reflects Sam's underground cult status and parity of songwriting skill. A challenging album from a challenging singer/songwriter though those longing for the lady to return to her songs of faith when she was Leslie had better look elsewhere.

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