MARY OCHER "Faust Studio Sessions and Other Recordings" C27 (Related Records)

The vocals on “Faust Studio Sessions…” are masterfully bewitching and truly over-the-top-to-the-point-of-other-worldliness, the depth and richness of her contralto croonery matched and amplified by a vibrato so aggressive, it harkens back to the golden years of SPARKS. Mary Ocher then takes this energy and fleshes it out with relatively minimal (yet powerful) accompaniment of acoustic chords galloping, strings plucked, tubas touted, marching snares percussing, lapsteels whistling, and or tympani a-thunderings. &to sweeten the pot, there’s also a cover of Robbie Basho’s “Blue Crystal Fire” on here, and, if ANYone can cover him and do his songs justice, it’s Mary fucking Ocher!

A slight departure from the more heady compositions found on her earlier works, FSS isn’t just some collection of wild b-sides but a truly stand-alone testament to MO’s creativity and ability to make MORE with less. Not only are the creative melodies catchy as hell, but so is the actual voicing of the words. Truly powerful!

-- Jacob An Kittenplan