Josephine Foster “Graphic As A Star” (Fire Records, 2009)
Emily Dickinson......set to music!
Listening to this album prompts two questions. Firstly: just how much chutzpah, arrogance or self-belief would you need to think that not only could Emily Dickinson’s poems be improved by being sung but that you were the person to do it? Secondly: why didn’t someone tell nu-folk singer-songwriter Josephine Foster not to? As she warbles her way dissonantly through twenty-six of Dickinson’s finest either acapella or accompanied by minimalist guitar the listener’s thoughts are not of the “stairsteppy melodies” or “burnished soulfulness” she lays claim to but rather “Dear God, make it stop.” Foster’s voice is thin and irritating and wanders up and down the octaves with scant regard for either melody or tunefulness, leaving Dickinson’s wonderful words stranded. Definitely the worst thing I’ve heard this year.
Date review added: Sunday, December 06, 2009
Reviewer: Jeremy Searle
Related web link: Artist website