To name an album loosely based around your father’s death ‘Get Well Soon’ requires a certain appreciation of irony, if not out-and-out sarcasm. However, the title of the second album from NYC’s Sarabeth Tucek is pretty much the only part of the package that doesn’t play things wonderfully and affectingly straight. Raw, heart-on-sleeve records can often seem trite, but ‘Get Well Soon’ avoids mawkishness with a refinement in performance and intimacy of recording that lifts it above feel-my-pain whine. Tucek’s rich, weary voice, somewhere in the triangle created by Nico, Beth Gibbons and Joni Mitchell, holds everything together: on ‘Things Left Behind’, the elegant ballad that forms the centrepiece of the LP, the cracks and creaks on her low notes are beautiful – it lends the track and album an impressive classiness and confidence.

By Sam Walton

Originally published in issue 26 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. March 2011

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