Most helpful positive review
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A great album by a terrific musician
on February 8, 2013
Patricia Barber is one of my two favorite musicians, the other being Leonard Cohen. She's that good. Smash is an outstanding piece of work. Like most of her albums, I didn't fall in love with it on first listen, but it has grown on me considerably with each subsequent spin. Although Patricia Barber is usually categorized as a jazz musician and Concord is certainly thought of as a jazz label, the music on Smash defies any simplistic classification. The majority of the album is not what I think of as jazz in any traditional sense of the word. Smash has many moments that blend jazz with rock, hard rock, pop, and even dance. And rest assured there are many exceptionally nice piano, guitar, bass, and drum passages sprinkled throughout. Smash is also an amalgam of tempos with about 50% being slow, 25% fast, and the remainder somewhere in between. The quality of the sound is about as good as it gets on redbook CDs. Of the 12 tracks, there is really only one that didn't float my boat, which is Romanesque, the shortest track and to my ears a snore from start to finish. But the rest of the album I really like, and at least two tracks are flat out superb: Devil's Food and Bashful (the latter being the only 100% instrumental track on the album). If I have any disappointment with Smash, it's that the CD is packaged in one of those stupid cardboard cases rather than a jewel box. Boo to Concord for that!