Wednesday, March 18, 2015

S.J. Tucker's Stolen Season

I've been a fan of S.J. Tucker's for a number of years now, and have quite a few of her albums, but Stolen Season very quickly rose to become my favorite.
Up until this album I've personally categorized Sooj's style to be somewhere in the genre of pagan folk rock, this album however is vastly different. Where previous albums have had more lighthearted and even humorous songs, the tracks on Stolen Season seem a bit more, grown up. Of course Stolen Season is still a masterful arrangement of instruments, amazing storyteller lyrics and the powerful vocals that Sooj's fans have come to expect. But it has a bit of a darker feel. The haunting lyrics speak of personal empowerment and retaining yourself even in matters of the heart. The slow southern blues sound with a hint of jazz thrown in for flavor makes me think of smoky speakeasies and warm summer nights. Stolen Season remains true to the fairytale nature of Sooj's lyrical stories while adding a rawness and depth of emotion that while not absent in previous albums, was not nearly as present as it is here.
I have many favorite songs from Sooj's past albums, but even the ones I love the most do not speak to me the way some of the songs on Stolen Season do.
From Black Swan Blues with lyrics like "Singing up the wind and rain /Gonna shake you down with my refrain /Stepping out from in between/ Baby I got tricks you've never seen"
To "It all comes down to choices,/but you've only the hard ones left,/and so, all you can say is/"I belong to me./Even now, even here!" of Girl Into Devil (I Belong To Me) the lyrics speak of standing up for and owning yourself. One of the tracks even manages to sum up a previous relationship of mine in a way that was both enlightening, healing, and rather disturbing, but in a good way.
Without a doubt, Stolen Season is my favorite S.J. Tucker album. If you'd like to see if it's yours too, you can find both the unmastered release and the mastered studio copy as well as her previous albums, at I am personally very fond of the unmastered release as it reminds me of listening to vinyl records as a kid. However the mastered copy is excellent as well.
I hope you enjoy your new Auditory Addiction.

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