Don't Do Anything

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
T Bone Burnett played a major role in Sam Phillips' recording career before she even became Sam Phillips. Their collaboration began when Burnett produced 1987's The Turning, Phillips' last album as Leslie Phillips, the given name she used when she signed with the Christian-oriented Myrrh Records label. After that album, Phillips fled the constraints of the CCM format and, using her nickname Sam Phillips, began recording a series of gorgeous pop albums with Burnett at the controls that posed moral and ethical riddles with subtle passion, wisdom, and no small degree of wit. However, with the release of Phillips' 2004 album, A Boot and a Shoe, came the word that Phillips and ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
T Bone Burnett played a major role in Sam Phillips' recording career before she even became Sam Phillips. Their collaboration began when Burnett produced 1987's The Turning, Phillips' last album as Leslie Phillips, the given name she used when she signed with the Christian-oriented Myrrh Records label. After that album, Phillips fled the constraints of the CCM format and, using her nickname Sam Phillips, began recording a series of gorgeous pop albums with Burnett at the controls that posed moral and ethical riddles with subtle passion, wisdom, and no small degree of wit. However, with the release of Phillips' 2004 album, A Boot and a Shoe, came the word that Phillips and Burnett, who were husband and wife as well as musical collaborators, had divorced, and her seventh album as Sam Phillips, Don't Do Anything, finds her producing her own sessions for the first time. Those expecting a major shift in creative direction will not really find what they're looking for; while the sound of the record is not as spare as Fan Dance or A Boot and a Shoe, the arrangements are concise and the tuneful melodies are expressed with a thoughtful elegance (the Section Quartet add superb string arrangements to several tracks), as the thick electric guitar textures that rumble below the surface add a slightly disquieting element that's different than the clean psych-pop surfaces of Martinis & Bikinis or the acoustic textures of her more recent work (but don't fret, "Little Plastic Life" has a hook as lovely as anything she's ever committed to tape). Some fans will expect Don't Do Anything to be Phillips' "breakup album," and lyrics like "I thought if he understood he wouldn't treat me this way" (from "No Explanations"), "Did you ever love me?" (from "Another Song"), and "I'd rather be alone than with someone who doesn't know" (from "My Career in Chemistry") certainly suggest that the notions of betrayal and broken hearts were in her thoughts. But nearly all the songs on Don't Do Anything work on two levels, as they express misgivings of affairs of the heart as well as the uncertain navigation of the soul, and the finale, "Watching Out of This World," clearly addresses a disappointment far deeper than any heartache. With Don't Do Anything, Sam Phillips has struck out on her own with a work that's among her most challenging to date, and it reveals that she's held on to the gifts that have made her one of the most rewarding singer/songwriters of her generation while adding fresh accents as she follows her muse with commendable courage and clarity.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/3/2008
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • UPC: 075597997576
  • Catalog Number: 257020
  • Sales rank: 149,531

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sam Phillips Primary Artist
Paul Bryan Bass
Jennifer Condos Bass
Richard Dodd Cello
Patrick Warren Pump Organ
Jay Bellerose Drums
Sam Phillips Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Piano, Electric Guitar
Eric Gorfain Banjo, Mandolin, Piano, Violin, Electric Guitar, Electric Violin, Guitar (Baritone)
Daphne Chen Violin
Leah Katz Viola
Technical Credits
Paul DuGre Engineer
Sam Phillips Composer
Dan Russell Management
Sam Phillips Producer, Collage
Mike Piersante Engineer
Jeff D. Nicholas Art Direction
Eric Gorfain Engineer, String Arrangements
Chris Wonzer Engineer
Curtis Laur Guitar Techician
Ronen Givony Editorial Coordinator
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Customer Reviews

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( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Half way through the year, and no other release has been as honest, horribly sad and joyously redeeming. Sam Phillips has had a litany of heady, starkly produced winners... but this tops them all. Her ability as a producer is evident from years with her then husband T-Bone Burnett. She continues to write some of the most honest and transparent modern music.... a unique talent!

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews