2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
You will definately feel the force of this stunning album,
This review is from: Real Life (Audio CD)
Much has been made of the fact that Joan Wasser has played and collaborated with Rufus Wainwright and more pertinently Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons. She can put all that behind her now for this outstanding debut album will propel her into a stratosphere of acclaim and adulation that means she will never be playing second fiddle to anyone again.
Like Hegartys Mercury Prize winning "I Am A Bird Now", "Real Life" is a classy sequence of piano led songs, embellished with subtle string arrangements, smoky fillips of jazz ambience and the odd audacious genre twist. Just as pivotal is Wassers voice, a sensual ululation with just the barest hint of a rough edge or two that gives the songs an empirical sense of a life lived. Technically, she is flawless, never resorting to redundant scale wavering though she does slip into an effortless falsetto for the albums funkiest track "Save Me" via the breathy exertions of "The Ride" and the crisp brassy confident strains she utilises on the duet with Hearty "I Defy".
The ten songs are mature, impeccably performed and offer enough variation of tone and genus to eradicate any chance of the album becoming repetitive or mundane. "The Ride" is a truly stunning evocative ballad but there are the slightly experimental tones of wobbly synths and unsettling electronic ambience on "Feed The Light" or the startling unfurling of guitar on "Christobel"- the only time one is used on the album. "Eternal Flame" is ushered by fertile cooing backing vocals and a clever overlapping vocal while the luxuriant horns on "Anyone" give the song lustrous soul sheen. The title track is a quavering feracious ballad, arranged around a simple piano and Wassers heartrendingly tender vocal.
Lyrically it's eloquent and quite beautifully written. Effectively this album makes everything else in the singer/songwriter stakes released recently redundant. Nothing can touch this. It may well even propel Wasser to the level that Jeff Buckley achieved in 1994 with "Grace". This album really is that good. In fact if I may be so bold I think "Real Life" is a better album. Easily the finest original album I have heard this year. It's terrible pun time.....The force is most definitely with her.