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CD Review: Sarah Fimm 

Near Infinite Possibility, 2011, Independent

click to enlarge Sarah Fimm’s Near Infinite Possibility.
  • Sarah Fimm’s Near Infinite Possibility.

Woodstock composer Sarah Fimm has received continual accolades from Rolling Stone and Billboard for her stellar songwriting. Near Infinite Possibility, her seventh album, is a bit of a departure from her earlier trippy electronics and quieter piano-based work. It’s edgy, powerful, and exhilarating rock with shades of pop, alt-rock, and goth, and shows that she can hold her own against such rock-chick peers as Alanis Morissette, PJ Harvey, Sinead O’Connor, and Sarah McLachlan. Taking on layered vocals and piano, Fimm is joined by powerhouse bassist Sarah Lee (B-52s), guitarist Earl Slick (David Bowie), and a dozen other players who know how to keep it tight.

There’s something intensely sad about the feel of this album, albeit beneath a cloak of provocative rock ’n’ roll. A melancholy vibe penetrates the work both lyrically and musically. Take the first single, for example, the claustrophobic “Yellow,” which is based on Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s shocking short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” It seems every bit as much a descent into madness as its source; the feelings of loss and isolation are heavy and searing as Fimm sings, “Don’t be so quick to trust your eyes / They have been petrified / All is white when terrified / But what is unreal dies.” Song after dynamic song, this record is a gut-punch—perhaps it will encourage new listeners to check out her sumptuous early work. Near Infinite Possibility, however, is the cherry on top of all that went before it. Sarahfimm.com

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