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A denser affair than 2008’s To Survive, it fizzes and bursts with plush instrumentation, augmenting her trademark keys with strings, horns and electric guitar in a manner that occasionally threatens to drown out her smooth delivery. Certainly, it doesn’t make much sense at first, lacking the impact of that album’s tear-stained confessionals or the sense of arrival that greeted debut set Real Life. But the ambition present reveals itself gradually, repeated listens opening up these long, sometimes languorous songs.
Wasser has always been far more interesting than a cursory listen to her records might suggest, the idiosyncratic banter of her live shows hinting at a strangeness that suits The Deep Field very well. Found-sound collages and studio chatter colour the album as it segues from one song to the next, rarely faltering. Lead single The Magic lopes along on a sleek riff that finds Wasser lost in a maze of her own making; The Action Man builds, builds and builds for the entirety of its five-minute run; Chemmie dwells on lust in sweet falsetto not a million miles away from Prince; I Was Everyone makes for a bracing finish; Forever and a Year is just gorgeous. Only Human Condition slows proceedings somewhat, an exercise in laid-back soul that veers a little too far towards the inconsequential.
But as a whole, The Deep Field nails it. True, the songs are long, it is almost ceaselessly rich, and you’re going to want to skip its first 30 seconds every time. Yet there is something fantastically indulgent and heartening going on here: the sense that Wasser is embracing her peculiarities and making giddy, ebullient light of them. Long may she continue to do so.
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If you can see her live you could appreciate the good music she plays.
Nothing to be added to my comment
the first song is just irritating noise. Skip to the 2nd track, and the next time I touch the controls is at the end of the album. An extremely good album, a great find!Published 23 months ago by herrbbiiee
I love Joan music, after the cd I buy the vinyl for the other two songs only on LP edition, but is usually that for a music lover, or not?Published on 14 Oct 2011 by Biagio
This was recommended by a friend and from reading reviews and thought i would give it a go . I have not been disappointed , quite mellow and not at all what i had expected. Read morePublished on 25 Feb 2011 by mother
The second album of Joan's in my collection and even better than the last one. Great voice and delivery. And stunning lyrics.Published on 8 Feb 2011 by Mike Leicester