6 Feb 2023
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Samantha Josephine - Album Review: The Finished Touch

19 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

This is a direct continuation of the work displayed by Samantha on the Fly Bird Fly EP which came out a few months ago, except this time around she has managed to secure the services of drummers Mars Slater Vitai and Olive Konai, who between them share the duties on this 16-track 39-minute-long album. They fit in well with the ethos and spirit of Samantha, not attempting to bring in any finesse of polish, but instead keeping to the very lo-fi and naïve approach demonstrated by the singer/guitarist. When I reviewed the EP, I said it felt as if here was an introvert baring her soul and struggling with the need to put her art out there against the fear of being judged for it. Musically she comes over as a cross between Wesley Willis, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, and Jonathan Richman, with the awkwardness amplified and any polish and finesse buried deep.

I can imagine some people listening to this album and wondering why I am saying nice things about it, as it is diametrically opposed to the style one would hear being played on the radio, but as far as I am concerned that is a very good thing indeed. There is no bass, just a massive gap between her guitar and the drums, with her vocals over the top. There are times when she is sliding all over the note one would expect her to hit, but that is part of the appeal, as this is anti-pop, music which has a soul and honesty all its own. When I reviewed Wesley Willis’ Greatest Hits album, which was released by Alternative Tentacles all the way back in 1995 (I’ve been doing this writing thing for a while) it just blew me away, and I could not put into words why that was, except it was the opposite of everyone else was trying to achieve and that is exactly the same here.

Samantha has been working towards this album for a year now, yet when a song came to her recently, she knew she has to include it, so Chewing Gone To Sound is now the opening track, even though it was only completed a few days ago. If this were the Seventies and Samantha was in New York she would be a regular at CBGB’s, and if it were the late Seventies and she was in the UK she would be signed to Stiff Records. But it is well into the 21st century, and she is in New Zealand, so most people will ignore this and let it pass them by, which is a real shame as there is something in this album which calls to me. At times it is off key, and the guitar playing may not always be as good as one would expect, while the drumming is basic at best. The production and mixing are almost non-existent, yet this is anti-commercial album is all the better for it. If you want music from the heart, with no hidden agenda apart from ripping the artist to pieces, then this is it.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Samantha Josephine

Compared to Lou reed and Courtney Barnett, Samantha Josephine's unique sound has been assembling a group of fans from around the world to watch her perform from her living room. She has been called a style beast, with a voice, that historically speaking not a lot of females have.




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Samantha Josephine

Releases

Fly Bird Fly
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Feeling In The Strange
Year: 2020
Type: Album

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