The Best Album of 1995
R. Mix | Milwaukee, Wisconsin | 02/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's ironic how often the most-enduring music arrives not with the hoopla and hyperbole of a multimillion-dollar hype machine, but alone, slipping in practically unannounced through a side entrance. Such is the case with Susan Voelz's 'Summer Crashing'.
Released with little fanfare as a side project by the Poi Dog Pondering violinist, 'Summer Crashing' was supported by a handful of live dates and some posters in your local indie record store. That it remains in print a decade after its release is a minor miracle.
And the music? This is the third attempt I've made at describing it, and perhaps that is the best indicator of its uniqueness. Ethereal, wry, solem, joyful, haunting--all of them apply. Written in the wake of an automobile accident, 'Summer Crashing' (and Voelz) are grateful to have survived. But neither can help asking "Why?" and "What if?"
Waking from 'Summer Crashing's restless fever dream, Voelz lets go on the rollicking "Happy", singing "Just for an hour I'm going to be happy/Just for a day I'm going to let dumb things happen/I don't care how I look 'cause I look good-enough/I don't care what I think 'cause I'm not thinkin' much..."
But it's clear that she has been. Quite a bit.
It's a bit sad it took all these years for a review to appear, and it's easy to dismiss 'Summer Crashing' for that very reason. Instead, let the fact that it has remained important-enough to one person ten years on to make it worth writing about while sitting in a cold, dark living room act as the true indicator of its worth.
And to Susan, wherever you are, thank you.