Susan James

Susan James

Fantastic Voyage: A Double Album

Red Letter

Susan James has a unique and easily distinguishable talent, both in her songwriting and in her voice. This double-disc set consists of “Lovesick,” a collection of ten tracks with vocals, and “Strange Bedfellows,” ten instrumentals. James’ voice, pure and possessed with a hypnotizing vibrato, is the sort that people will find completely entrancing or horrendously grating, so which disc is better depends on your evaluation. James highlights the appropriate facet on each disc, so her vocal side clearly showcases her lyrical skills, while her instrumental side shows plenty of ingenious musical tricks up her sleeve. Personally, though I enjoyed both discs tremendously, I found “Strange Bedfellows” to hold my attention a little better, as James seems to be not only brimming with quirky melodies and production tricks, but also possessed of the physical talent to pull off some fancy fretwork, as in the fingerpicked “The Bean March.” Overall, Fantastic Voyage has the feel of a personal secret favorite, an album that finds a place in your heart that’s so cozy, you begin to feel others can’t appreciate it as well as you do. Red Letter, 2029 Verdugo Blvd. #224, Montrose, CA 91020

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