A Boot And A Shoe - Sam Phillips

Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. What sounded austere on Fan Dance sounds simple on A Boot and a Shoe, and it's the differing inferences of those two adjectives that makes all the difference.
  2. The great beauty of the record, though, is how repeated listenings peel back once-unheard layers, how Phillips’ voice develops a deeper resonance with each spin, and how the deceptive simplicity of the recording gradually fades to reveal carefully scripted movements and moments.
  3. With deft, powerful strokes, the singer-songwriter chisels emotions, impressions, yearnings and regrets, giving these 13 songs exactly as much room as they need and no more.
  4. Phillips flirts with Depression-era stylings and pre-World War II cabaret to brilliantly convey a chaotic world of subdued rage. [7 May 2004, p.86]
  5. Small, perfectly formed and wonderfully refreshing. [Jun 2004, p.105]
  6. 70
    The longer the album runs the more engaging the songs seem to become. [May 2004, p.104]
  7. 70
    Understated and underestimated. [Nov 2004, p.113]
  8. There are hints of blues and gospel, but most of the songs could come from a rustic cabaret that is worried about waking the neighbors.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. CareyC
    Jun 18, 2006
    Sam's best album, each listen reveals something new and unexpected.
  2. Peewee
    Apr 18, 2005
    A masterpiece. One of the most underrated artists in American music, and this is her best album. Probably my favourite album of 2004.
  3. SneedyM
    Apr 10, 2005
    A bit brighter and playful than her previous release, it's no less profound and if anything just a bit better than "Fan Dance" based on the quality of the songwriting. Husband T-Bone Burnett has produced every one of Sam's Records since 1988, and the success of each release is due in part to his general vision, but Sam's creative input is still the reason I look for every record she puts out. Because of the overloaded bass on "All Night", I would recommend listeners use that song as a guide to program their stereos to get the most "effective" settings for listening to the album ("All Night" will actually sound like something on a 50's transistor radio), which in turn is the polar opposite of how the "Fan Dance" record should sound. Full Review »