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Suzanne Lewis — Suzanne Lewis
(Sedimental SEDCD027, 2000, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2001-03-01

Suzanne Lewis Cover art

Vocalist Susanne Lewis finally steps out into her first true solo album, nearly fourteen years after her most notable stint as lead singer for Colorado’s Thinking Plague. She’s also done a few recordings with Chris Cutler (Biota’s Object Holder) and undertaken a few projects on her own (Hail’s Kirk, or How to Live with a Tiger with Azalia Snail). Despite the lo-fi recording technique and lack of high production values, the nine tracks here, recorded across the past five years, are endearing and much better than your average alternative singer/songwriter. All vocal arrangements and guitar work, except a thrash solo on “Golden Imbued,” are done solely by Lewis, while drums are handled by three different contributors including Clem Waldmann from techno cult band UI. “Local to Headtrip” features a fuzzed-out lead while describing a confusing love scenario. “Pill Popping Nation” is akin to a surf ride run amok. “Cherry Blossom” seems to occupy a modal area somewhere between old Cocteau Twins and the Roches’ acoustic albums. The album pegs Lewis as a keen songwriter for the traditional g/b/d instrumentation, but with a knack for a catchy REM-like hook (“Sunny/Warmer”) as well as the obtuse ballad (“Five Shades of White”). For my money, my bet is on seven-minute closing track “Sunrise”, which fans of Thinking Plague will embrace as a next-of-kin to the sensitivity she added to that classic release, In This Life. Overall the album holds up as a brighter and less disturbing contrast to fellow Plaguer Bob Drake’s manic, but especially wonderful discs.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 21, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): Susanne Lewis

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