Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sam Phillips Pushes the Right Buttons Again

Sam Phillips
Push Any Button
LittleBox Records
Four Scoops of Bosco

Reviewed by Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

I once had this Journalism teacher that preached the mantra "Write Tight, Bright, Light".

Sam Philips could very well have been a disciple of that instructor.  Her song writing style has never been more concise, graceful and to the point than on her latest album, Push Any Button, due out on August 13.

This album, Philip's tenth, ushers in her fourth decade in the music business, and is an enjoyable, albeit quick journey through ten songs and stories that clock in just under thirty minutes.

And it's no surprise that an older and more mature Phillips brings the wisdom of perspective to her song writing in songs like "Things That I Shouldn't Have Told You" or "When I'm Alone" which offers an explanation on the difference between loneliness and solitude.

Songs like "Can't See Straight" and "All Over Me" are combinations of beautiful imagery in music and words.

The countrified "You Know I Won't" and the opening track "Pretty Time Bomb" are just fun to listen to.

Her band on this album is tight and efficient and features Drummer Jay Bellerose, Bassist Jennifer Condos, Pianist Benmont Tench,  Guitarist and Violinist Eric Gorfain, The Section Quartet for strings and Pianist Dave Palmer.

The music and musicianship is very reminiscent of two things: The Fun Pop Music from the 60's as well as the music produced by T Bone Burnett.

Burnett, who was once married to Phillips and produced five of her earlier albums, has undeniably left his stamp on her production stylings, standards and tastes.

Mixed with the wonderful songwriting ability of Philips, that's a good thing and makes Push Any Button worth a listen

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