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Fan Dance by Sam Phillips
Released: Jul 2001
Label: Nonesuch/WBR
Sam Philips' pop writing has always shown promise, but the mesmeric set that makes up Fan Dance is a blindsiding effort of coy wordplay and genteel restraint that presents her as a smarter, self-possessed analog to Aimee Mann. Sometimes vaudevillian ("Edge of the World"), sometimes sentimental ("Taking Pictures"), Philips displays a maturity as a writer that is flaunted over the dozen perfectly-formed tracks, accompanied by a rickety orchestra of guitar, percussion and string quartet. Picking standouts is difficult, but none are more satisfying than the elusive "Five Colors."
Nate Cavalieri