Sarabeth Tucek

Get Well Soon

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The expression of the title is the type of thing that is both a common formality and, in context, potentially very heartfelt. It's a good summary for the work of Sarabeth Tucek, who here continues her music building on -- but by no means limited to -- a bed of haunted, low-key acoustic guitar and singing, at once a familiar approach and given a particular cast thanks to Tucek's own particular touches. There's often a lush feeling on her songs, for all the melancholy; on "The Doctor," the delicate, swift lead melody aims for the skies rather than being crushed under rain clouds. "The Fireman" is one of her richest numbers, the extra echo on her voice and the descending melody gripping enough to start with but even more powerful as the full band arrangements steps forward, leading to a slow building, positive-feeling conclusion. That sense of slow burn really comes to the fore on "Exit Ghost," where the extended introduction makes the full feeling of her voice all the stronger. On "Wooden," her invocations of moving down a highway at high speed seem all the more chilling for the music's restraint, only bursting into a full rock band arrangement later in the song (and even then taking a slow, almost Pink Floyd-like kick). The knack for adding that sudden feeling of positive release is perhaps best summed up by the title of another song with a similar touch: "Rising."

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