Apr 11, 2015

Review: Stolen Season by S.J. Tucker

A few weeks ago S.J. Tucker released her long-awaited album, Stolen Season. When she asked in her newsletter for bloggers to review her album, I of course jumped at the chance! I just adore her music so much - how could I resist?

I've been listening the heck out of this album ever since it arrived a couple of weeks ago, especially at work.  To sum up my feelings: j'adore!

Let's start with the artwork.  I mean, how gorgeous is this cover art? 

album cover for Stolen Season by S.J. Tucker
Source: sjtucker.com
The rest of the art in the insert is equally gorgeous, especially the Black Swan image, swoon.  (And in case you haven't seen it, the full version of the gorgeous drawing on the far right was used as the cover art for the unmastered release of the album.  According to Bandcamp, the artist, Chaz Kemp, also did the cover art for her Witchy Ways mix.)

Stolen Season is a bit of a departure from s00j's previous albums. It's got a bluesey, jazzy vibe that I am totally in love with. She uses a downright sultry voice for some songs, like "Believe in Lullabies."  One thing I noticed is the use of a bass guitar in several songs, including "Black Swan Blues," which I don't remember from her previous work (or if she used it, it's certainly not as prominent.) It sounds utterly gorgeous alongside her voice, though.

I like when artists take a risk and try something different, because we get to see them grow as artists as they find out more of what they're capable of and what drive their creativity.  It doesn't always work, but when it does?  Oh yes.  And s00j's risk with Stolen Season really pays off.

I think my favorite song from this album is "Girl Into Devil (I Belong to Me)."  The words and the song's progression speak so much about pulling yourself through hell and finding your own power, something I can really relate to.

The title track, "Stolen Season," is another song that really gets me right in the feels. It speaks so much of sad but inevitable endings. (Reminds me a little of "Neptune," in fact). The cello in that song (performed by Betsy Tinney) in particular is oh so gorgeous. And as a Jimi Hendrix fan I have to appreciate how she ends with, "There must be some kinda way outta here..." in a sad, breathy tone.

Though s00j may have incorporated a new sound into the ablum, Stolen Season still has that essential s00j-ness of brilliant storytelling, musical artistry, and a giving us a glimpse of her true heart that I love so much.

Take a listen to the album below and hear for yourself how beautiful this album is.  And then go buy yourself a copy so s00j can keep making such wonderful music, and because you (yes, YOU) deserve to have such beautiful music in your life!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Stolen Season in exchange for a fair review.  All art and music from the album as shared are (c) S.J. Tucker.  All opinions are my own.

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