There’s something a bit different about Tami Neilson ’s new album ‘Sassafrass’. Restless, vibrant and sassy, it’s at times brash and in-your-face, while at others it retreats with a quiet melancholy and a story or two to tell, while always striking a balance.
It’s an album born out of increasing self-confidence and songs like opener Stay Out Of My Business, a strident response to trash-talkers, speak to this.
Others such as Smoking Gun and Bananas tackle sexism and inequality.
Moving further away from the country that has often defined her work, ‘Sassafrass’ fully embraces soul, with nods to rockabilly, blues and torch songs, although Manitoba Sunrise At Motel 6, written for the late Glen Campbell, suitably returns Neilson to her lovelorn country roots.
Just One Thought Of You is one song frequently returned to – an exquisite retro ballad written by her late father, although the familial-themed, Bobbie Gentry-channelling A Woman’s Pain is another contender for best moment, a constant and quietly powerful song.
A new Tami Neilson album is always one to take seriously and ‘Sassafrass’ may be destined to be one of her classic albums.