When listening to a very talented artist, there is sometimes a disconnect between the album they’ve made and the album you wish they’d made. This does not happen to diminish what the record offers but instead to put the onus on the potential the artist has.
This was my experience with Tall Tall Shadow by Basia Bulat. It is immediately evident that her voice has soul to spare and enough power to keep the world going during an apocalypse. “Tall Tall Shadow”, the title track and album opener, is a strong song from every aspect and creates a certain set of expectations that the rest of the record, unfortunately, fails to live up to.
Bulat knows how to write a quality song, this much is obvious. Her lyrics are very poetic and she has a good ear for song structure. Instrumentally, however, Tall Tall Shadow fails to excite despite being quite varied stylistically song to song.
Tall Tall Shadow is a hard album to dislike because listening to Bulat sing is an absolute joy and, thus, one creates their own version of what she is capable of. In the past, particularly with her previous albums Oh, My Darling and Heart of My Own, Bulat has demonstrated how good she can be.
We know she can do it so we are left with no recourse but to enjoy Tall Tall Shadow for what it is and impatiently wait for something better.
Basia Bulat performs at the Polish Combatants Hall in Toronto from October 10-12.
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