email@example.com | Newcastle, UK | 07/12/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"All the s,t! elements are present on this debut album: quirky songs, Beth's unusual voice (think halfway between Harriet Wheeler & Jill Sobule and you wouldn't be a million miles out) and arrangements which aren't dissimilar to Ben Folds Five (with a twist). If my first experience with s,t! had been this, I probably would have left it there to be honest. It's a little aimless in places, the songs are good but not great, the production a little rough in places. Not a bad album by any means, but when you go through a lot of music, some albums jump out at you while others remain indistinct and never make that connection - this being a prime example.I found their second album first and had to hunt around for some time before I got this and was mildly disappointed that it didn't have whatever seductive quality it was that made the other such a priceless find.If word-of-mouth about the band in general brought you this far, then by all means check this album out, but I really think all you get here is a taste of what they were capable of a couple of years later. There's a gulf between this and the follow-up, "(We Get There When We Do)" and it really is worth the extra effort to track the latter album down."
I had a beautiful dream,...and it was Suddenly, Tammy!
Karin L. Walsh | Albany, NY | 04/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a fan of Suddenly, Tammy!'s for many years. Beth Sorrentino's vocals are beautiful and the band's music brings out the kid in me! And, the way Beth pounds that piano,...it's just great."
Infectiously good piano pop.
Karin L. Walsh | 09/29/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I listened to this CD three times in a row after I brought it home, and I hadn't done that since I bought R.E.M.'s Chronic Town years ago. These songs bounce and move and are pure delight. Beth Sorrentino's clear voice and grown-up nursery rhyme piano melodies are solidly supported by the rhythm section of Jay Sorrentino and Ken Heitmuller, who are not relegated to the background. You won't miss the guitars."
A distinctly personal experience.
RockerDad | Renton, WA USA | 08/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I discovered Suddenly, Tammy! after reading a review in Spin about this little compilation album on spinART called 'one last kiss...' (see my review). S,T! contributed their single, 'lamp' to the compilation. Upon hearing this song, I was taken aback. This was something new, distinct, and excitingly different than the usual shoegazer/grunge/ska/ pop/punk that I generally heard at the time. So, I got this, the bands' self-titled first album.
Let me say that it was an ear-opening experience. The music herein is extremely personal and certainly unique. Beth Sorrentino, the lead singer, has a voice that is almost overly familiar, yet stunning in its own way. This album certainly is not a highly-produced affair. The band, while very solid studio craftman, produced the album themselves in their own studio (a former church basement), and it clearly does not have the sheen that their next album (produced by Warne Livesey) would have. Yet, for me, this held part of the allure of the band at the time: they were creating their own distinct vision completely on their own, and if the music showed signs of inexperience, so be it. Even the between song banter and noises helped to bring you into their world (you can hear Ed from Live say 'hi' in the background at one point).
The obvious highlights of the album are Lamp, Can't Decide (for me, this was the highlight of their live show), Plant Me, No Respect Girl, and Mt. Rushmore (the stunning album closer). Just beautiful, occasionaly rocking, pop songs with an almost jazz feel to them. The bands/Beth's songwriting has an at times off-kilter feel to it, changing keys at the drop of a hat. Certainly more challening than your average pop music. And a personal favorite (though probably grating to other ears for its wild time signature changes) is Fearless. I always thought Beth was singing about a 'spinach man' in this song-after writing the band and asking about this, she explained she was saying 'spanish man', and that it was vaguely about a high school exchange student.
And this brings up another point-the lyrics. If you try and find some particular meaning to any of them, go for it. But these are highly individual, at times surreal lyrics, that Beth would rarely, if ever, explain. She leaves it to the listener to decipher their own meaning.
Suddenly, Tammy!, and this album in particular, always made me imagine Carole King writing jazz pieces for Ben Folds Five led by Kristen Hersh. And, yes, the band certainly shares the instrument structure of Ben Folds Five, and Beth and Kristen both have unique voices and songwriting styles; and certainly, Beth has admitted she practically wore out her copy of 'Tapestry' as a kid-nonetheless, Suddenly, Tammy! is a distinct band with its own sound. Discover them for yourself, and enjoy them for yourself. For me, they have provided years of enjoyment (I sometimes even wear their beautiful, self-designed band shirts still).
If you do like this-their second album is perhaps even better (if slightly less personal) and more beautiful, and is also a must-own. And, the band put out two self-released ep's before their debut album. If you know someone who has copies, they are great finds, featuring early versions of some songs on both albums, plus a couple other tunes. Cherish Suddenly, Tammy!!!"
Tony Wyman | Salem, Oregon USA | 06/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Simply put, this is a fantastic CD. The vocals of lead Beth Sorrentino are compelling and evocative. Combining intelligent lyrics with lovely melodies, Suddenly Tammy is a vastly underplayed must have CD."