Style: Playful singer/songwriter pop; compare to The Beatles, Over the Rhine, Joe Henry
Top tracks: "Tell Me," "Magic for Everybody," "Lying"
Sam Phillips devoted a year to an ambitious and inventive subscription music service called The Long Play, which ended up yielding more than 40 songs over six records—among them a classically-inclined collaboration with the Section Quartet, a playful Christmas release, and a mini-concept album based on the life of evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. There wasn't a bad song in the bunch, so non-subscribers should rejoice in the wide release of Solid State, a sampling of 13 tracks from The Long Play. They aren't necessarily the very best songs from the project, but they are a fine sampling. Especially welcome inclusions are "Tell Me," with its riddlesome yearning for spiritual intimacy, and the snap-crackle-pop of "Magic for Everybody."1