Josephine Foster & the Supposed

All the Leaves Are Gone

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Placing All the Leaves Are Gone in the CD player is a little like a time warp. Is the album a reissue of an obscure '60s group from San Francisco? Or is it, perhaps, a contemporary recording (2004) that evokes yesteryear? In the case of Josephine Foster & the Supposed, it's the latter. The easiest comparison would be to Jefferson Airplane, circa 1967, with out of kilter melodies in minor keys and the guitars barely in tune. Foster plays the part of Grace Slick here, but she sounds more like Maddy Prior on acid. Her hippie, drug-induced vocal delivery is supported by the Supposed, who are guitarist/bassist Brian Goodman and drummer Rusty Peterson. While instrumental parts seem to have been dubbed here and there on All the Leaves Are Gone, the arrangements are mostly spare, which works well for creating a spacious sound, even when things get kind of loud. How listeners react to the material will probably depend on how familiar they are with groups like Jefferson Airplane, early Grateful Dead, and even the Velvet Underground. The opening song, "Well-Heeled Man," certainly captures one's attention, and Foster's fragile vocal is evocative. While the effect here and elsewhere is often winning, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the experimental mood of the material. The music ranges from gentle to dissonant, from a hush to a crash, alternately pulling the listener in and pushing the listener away. The listener may be intrigued or overwhelmed by All the Leaves Are Gone, but he or she will never be bored.

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