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Indescribable Wow

Sam PhillipsAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 1992 $11.49  
Audio CD, 1992 --  
Vinyl --  
DVD Audio, Original recording remastered, 2001 --  
Audio Cassette --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. I Don't Want To Fall In Love 2:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. I Don't Know How To Say Goodbye To You 3:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Flame 2:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Remorse 3:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. What Do I Do 4:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I Can't Stop Crying 3:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Holding On To The Earth 3:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. She Can't Tell Time 3:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. What You Don't Want To Hear 3:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Out Of Time 4:24$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 29, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • ASIN: B000000WGE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,709 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Sam Phillips's first album of her post-contemporary Christian period is evocative, hooky big-beat folk-rock. With husband-to-be T-Bone Burnett contributing one of his most nuanced productions, The Indescribable Wow is full of varied settings for Phillips's love songs (the Shirelles-style Latin lilt of "Out of Time") and spiritual doubts (the raga-rockish "Holding On to the Earth"). She went on to make entertaining, artier discs, but this is her most purely enjoyable. --Rickey Wright

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SHOULD I PRETEND THAT I DON'T CARE? October 8, 2000
By EriKa
Format:Audio CD
Sam Phillips is so incredibly talented that it makes me just... sick that she is not well-known. In fact, she is barely known at all. I try to introduce her to music fans around the world, but it just never catches on. On the strength of the song "I Don't Know How to Say Goodbye to You" (a very powerful song with very catchy lyrics) I bought the entire album, and every song here packs a powerful punch. Sam Phillips is such a gifted songwriter... such a shame she is overlooked. The singles from this album actually garnered a lot of airplay on college radio, but even that was not enough to buoy it. Sam continues to record high quality stuff... just listen to Martinis and Bikinis, a stellar performance. On this album there is not a single BAD song. "Flame" is an introspective ballad("Flame, why do you paralyse my soul..."), "Remorse" is an extremely powerful tune ("He's so sorry he can't feel remorse... tries to keep the (healthy) ship on course..."), "I Can't Stop Crying" is another infectious tune, "Holding on to the Earth" is a sparkling song... heard widely on college radio of the late 80s and I believe also in several movie soundtracks, although the only one I can think of right now is the soundtrack for Ruby in Paradise, which starred the talented Ashley Judd before she decided to make plotless drivel like Eye of the Beholder. "What You Don't Want to Hear" is another gem. "I wish that I could lie to you, baby... I got what you don't want to hear, oh what you don't want to hear... I got what you don't want to hear... how do I tell you?"
This is one of the rare albums which can be heard in pieces or as a whole but sound crisp, concise, and brilliant either way. Sam Phillips is a a great investment of your time and money. I highly recommend this album...
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Pop Album Ever Made January 30, 2001
Format:Audio CD
How do I even begin to do justice to this, the album that literally changed my life? Sam Phillips, like Dorothy Parker in go-go boots, is a sharply comic, radiantly lovely, fiendishly gifted singer of brilliantly intuitive, intoxicating pop songs, written with one eye toward thanking the Beatles and another toward raising the bar for other women in rock and pop, but she raises it so high it may well be invisible to the average observer. The melange of Sixties influences, filtered through her husband T-Bone Burnett's shimmering production, results in music that can be felt---almost literally so, like a tingling warmth upon the skin; simple tales of love lost and yearned for, answers sought and rarely received, and witty asides about this puzzlingly erratic universe of ours are dipped in the honey of almost painfully beautiful music---which is nevertheless, completely accessible. Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I really can't find the words to describe how incredibly wonderful this CD is!! It has some of the best adult pop songs ever made. She gracefully combines 60's-styled vocals and music and melts it with today's sound to create a release that 'wow'-ed critics everywhere. No one can deny the intelligent take on "I Don't Want to Fall in Love" saying that she wants to be in love and not fall in love with the 'idea' of love. I really love "Flame", which is a poetic gem about human temptation, as she says, "Flame, why do you paralyze my soul?". "What Do I Do" is one of my favorites because I absolutely love aerial background vocals and this song is a masterpiece in vocals. "Holding on to the Earth" first grabbed my attention because of its almost 'Ancient Egyptian' sounding music. Another big favorite of mine is "She Can't Tell Time" which has mysterious lyrics unless you know something about Sam's past experiences with Christian music. "What You Don't Want to Hear" is very upbeat and says, "I can't hide truth from you, in a closet of some kind, it will only sharpen its blade and it will cut you when you find it, I wish that I could lie to you baby, but I got what you don't want to hear, how do I tell you?" This was a highly praised release, but grossly undersold (as most of her music is). This was one of the best releases of the late 80's and deserves to be in everyone's music collection.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ouch! November 1, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Nearly giddy, giggly 80's pop songs with tight hooks and fun beats (you can almost see Sam jivin' while she sings) - but instead of being mindless fun (which it could have been), the upbeat, sunny songs perfectly convey the sharp stab of Sam's heartbreak, as if the warm California sun shining through her music leaves a sun-scorched Sam nowhere to hide in its heat. Sam communicates her heartache perfectly - and usually complements it with surrealistic wonderings about her world ("When fires rise, the shadows fall/Over the edges where we crawl;" and, to her ex: "I feel like a small girl, falling beneath your form/If I set you on fire, will you keep me warm?" This album will blow your mind even when it makes you wanna dance. I usually hate 80's music, but I doubt I'll ever get tired of this one - or anything else Sam does.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Sam cooks (sorry for the bad pun)
Old time vibe with a very now twist. Took me back and snapped me out to a place I've never been too.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing...gorgeous...
Sam Phillips is a rare, sparkling gem of a singer. "The Indescribable Wow" is one of the most distinctive pop recordings from the '80's that I have heard by any artist. Read more
Published 4 months ago by ethersea
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow wow wow!
Fun and catchy music with a brain! From Sam's sometimes poignant, sometimes searing vocals and thoughtful lyrics to T-Bone Burnett's pop-hook laden and often Beatlesque... Read more
Published on June 11, 2011 by MaxBlue
...except that I might even give this a 2 star. Maybe it just took some time for Sam and T-Bone to hit their stride, since every disc since has shined. Read more
Published on April 17, 2011 by DIRTBAG
5.0 out of 5 stars Great but i Went through 2 Discs
This is a great CD one of my favorites of all time but on an aside note i have already lost 2 copies of this disc to "CD ROT" Anyone else notice this problem? Read more
Published on September 29, 2008 by C. Matsuda
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a beautiful effort with a great title!
Previous to this album Sam was known to the world as Leslie Phillips. This is her departure from the adult contemporary Christian music world...and what a departure it is! Read more
Published on December 29, 2007 by J. R. Cornett
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Satisfying Pieces of Music Ever
My CD collection is in the tens of thousands. Most of the music I own has its moments in the sun, and that's it. Read more
Published on November 29, 2007 by Winston Steward
3.0 out of 5 stars Has its moments, but "Martinis..." is much better
I discovered Sam Phillips via "Martinis and Bikinis", a simply marvelous album. I've seen her live and she's a quirky, edgy, brilliant performer, with an odd, dry, tongue-in-cheek... Read more
Published on March 22, 2007 by Surfer Beto
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a crime this Pop classic is out of print
Indescribable Wow, indeed. Wow, what a great pop album. Normally I listen to hard rock and punk, but this is one beautiful pop album, complex and sophisticated, that does not... Read more
Published on July 21, 2006 by FRANCIS PETTIT
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves Recognition
This is a materpiece. I had the cassette and I virtually wore it out. I finally got a copy of the CD and I am continually amazed at the sheer artistry of each song. Read more
Published on July 2, 2006 by T. Tantillo
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