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Cruel Inventions


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Audio CD, June 29, 1992
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$26.88 $1.62

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Lying 3:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Go Down 3:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Cruel Inventions 3:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Standing Still 3:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Tripping Over Gravity 5:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Now I Can't Find The Door 3:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Private Storm 4:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Raised On Promises 3:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Hole In Time 3:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Where The Colors Don't Go 3:01$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 29, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • ASIN: B000000WHT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,619 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Quietly, almost imperceptibly, Southern California thrush Sam Phillips has built up an exceptional body of work. Cruel Inventions is but the third in a gently swelling series of consistently creative, intriguingly off-center pop-rock recordings. As with all of her "Sam" recordings (prior to the mid '80s, she'd achieved considerable success in Christian music circles under her given name, Leslie Phillips), this 10-song set from 1991 is branded by a kind of chamber psychedelia (courtesy of her hubby, producer T Bone Burnett). With Van Dyke Parks, Marc Ribot, and special guest Elvis Costello helping to shape the soundscape, Phillips wafts above the cushioned din, gazing down on scenes that inspire incongruously harsh denouements. Songs such as "Lying," "Raised on Promises," and "Now I Can't Find the Door" leave one feeling unsettled...and enthralled. --Steven Stolder

Customer Reviews

One of the best records of the decade...
Angela McGregor
Best of all, the quality of songs is pretty even throughout; if you like any of the songs on the CD, you're likely to like most or all of them.
Tung Yin
She stated she felt confined in Christian music and the freedom she feels really moves the music.
Geoffrey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tung Yin VINE VOICE on June 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Sam Phillips is probably best known for three things: (1) she used to put out Christian music under her given name, Leslie Phillips; (2) she's married to rock producer T-Bone Burnett; and (3) she played the icily mute assassin and girlfriend to Jeremy Irons in "Die Hard 3." All of which is fine, except that it overshadows her fabulous work as a contemporary singer and songwriter.
Under her nickname "Sam," she's released a number of CDs, starting with 1989's "The Indescribable Wow," 1992's "Cruel Inventions," 1995's "Martinis and Bikinis," and others.
Her CDs show a definite progression, starting with the soft crooning sounds of "Indescribable" to the more subtle and plaintive songs of "Inventions," to a more Beatles like sound of "Martinis and Bikinis." Depending on what you're looking for, then, "Cruel Inventions" may not be to your liking.
What "Cruel Inventions" offers is a collection of dreamy meditations accompanied by incredibly catchy musical arrangements. Phillip's voice is pure and heartfelt, almost like a less scratchy version of Kim Carnes.
Best of all, the quality of songs is pretty even throughout; if you like any of the songs on the CD, you're likely to like most or all of them.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "sweethev" on November 10, 1999
Format: Audio CD
"Cruel Inventions" is not only Sam's best album, but one of the best in the industry. With her intelligent lyrics, articulate musical styles, and a darkened dreamlike mood, she is a role-model for many female artist who don't want the "girlie" stereotype. I have loved this album for years and continue to do so. Songs like "Tripping Over Gravity" and "Lying" are musical gems, and the entire album sparkles with creativity.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 22, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Contrary to the thoughts of some, Sam Phillips has NOT abandoned her faith when she chose to leave the Contemporary Christian music field. She simply grew tired of the smug and confining nature of the genre that refused to allow her to grow as an artist. Like her husband and producer T Bone Burnett and their good friend Bruce Cockbrun, Sam's faith is still very much in evidence in many of her songs. She merely does not hit the listener over the head with it has is usually in the nature of the Contemporary Christian genre.
With "Cruel Inventions," Sam has created one of the best albums of either phase of her career. The melodies are catchy and unforgettable, the lyrics thought provoking and relevant. Others may wish to keep Sam in a box, refusing to let her grow, but many of her fans welcome her artistic muse.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By dev1 on June 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I've been gushing about Sam Phillips ever since I heard the first note of Martinis And Bikinis, so if I begin to do the same for Cruel Inventions, forgive me. Just say "dev1, stop your gushing." Husband and producer T Bone Burnett plays a major role in sound of Cruel Inventions. The album is rich and baroque with an Eastern Beatlesque sound (Where The Colors Don't Go) sometimes very close to classical (the string section during the break of Lying). T Bone embellishes guitars and drums with strings, piano and synthetic sounds (ude and chamberlain? who knows what the heck they are). The melodic hooks and instrumental variations sound natural and effortless. And to save money, Sam's voice is multitracked for luxurious choruses: a chorus of Sams harmonizing with Sam is blissful (especially the "ooh wa, ooh wa" chorus of the title track).
Although the string section is arranged by Van Dyke Parks (he's very civil and melodic with That's Where The Colors Don't Go), the strumming guitars and verse-chorus-verse structure clearly say "This is a Pop album." Sam has Beatles and Byrds (Now I Can't Find The Door) flying around inside her head. Lyrically, Cruel Inventions is introspective and confessional ("We tiptoe through air until we see the blood on their teeth" from Private Room). Please don't run and hide. "Sensitive" doesn't equate to "self-pity" here, but to a 100-foot pile of optimism. Sam abhors greed ("Break the code of death for profit. Break the guns. Break the silence of money" from Go Down), examines love's misadventures ("I'm afraid of you. There must be some back way or window I can climb out through" from Now I Can't Find The Door), and is always longing for...I don't know.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Audio
This cd is where her abilities, confidence, production, and everything aligned for an incredible piece of work. It is not poppy, cliche music or lyrics in any way. She stated she felt confined in Christian music and the freedom she feels really moves the music. This is a serious piece of art, with depth, and a variety of mood, sometimes melancholy (but so sweet to the soul) and sometimes lighter. No offense to those who love her previous work intended, but to me she crossed the line from good, to exceptional on this cd. It is in my all time top 20 or maybe top 10. If you want happy pop music, or formula Christian music, this is not it. It you want deep, honest, passionate, genuine searching music, this will move your soul.

The production is unbelievable. T-Bone on this cd is in the same place as George Martin, Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, Hugh Padgam, Bob Ezrin and the other masters.
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