“Charming and Dangerous”

My collegue-in-blogging Clint M. pointed me to this review of Sam Phillips’ “A Boot and a Shoe,” which includes this excellent description of Sam’s work:

And here is what is the most charming and dangerous aspect of Sam Phillips: she does it all to your mind with her songs. She doesn’t have to warble and work a song to death to prove her talent, no hamstrung histrionics necessary. Today’s overproduced Diva-ettes can’t thrill you unless they’re paraded half-dressed in the video. Their songs, when taken on their own, are as passionate and daring as shopping for pants. The vocabulary is stunted with hoary couplets like “girl/world”, “heart/torn apart” and the occasional cussword and demand for gratification. It’s kind of wonderful to know that there are still songwriters out there that do it for the sake of music, and Phillips most certainly is there among them.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • CM

    Hey, thanks for the mention! I’m planning on picking up this CD in the next day or two now.

  • Anonymous

    Yep. Clint (and you) are right on the money. I drifted into knowledge of Sam right around the time of Martinis & Bikinis. Lost track of her during Omnipop and Fan Dance, but caught up in a big hurry when I heard her being interviewed on NPR last month promoting Boot & Shoe.

    And my copy of Fan Dance just arrived moments ago: I’m now working backwards into the rest of her oeuvre.

    I’m impressed with the complexity of the worlds she creates in her lyrics, and the light touch of the music. If anyone can revive the lost art of subtlety, she can.

    –Grace, romanlily.com