Album Reviews

“The first five songs on Wonders start out with Sooj’s signature style; whimsical, playful, and with the air of a wandering circus about them. She is an accomplished singer, and one of the most distinctive things about her work is her multi-layered harmonies…The music switches gears by the sixth song, “Glashtyn Shanty.” Dark, haunting, and powerful, this one was my favorite. An otherworldly sea shanty, the song shows you the murky mist-shrouded waters, no doubt under some curse, as the blackened barge ferries you across to some uncertain fate. “Little Skylark (the Worsted Wood)” is an ethereal lullaby with lyrics written by Cat Valente, wherein a young girl attempts to lull her own death to sleep. “September Morning Bell” is a spoken piece that reads like a spell amidst cellos, guitar, and synth glockenspiel. This is followed up by “The Great Velocipede Migration”, an instrumental, medieval sounding romp. This one reminded me a great deal of Frenchy and the Punk, a touring duo we both have shared the stage with several times. “Not the Villian” is very evocative of Tori Amos. Spoken from the point of view of the nemesis, it features Sooj’s signature whimsy, but takes a turn for the melancholic and introspective. Staying with the melancholy feel, the penultimate song, “For Iago” reminds us that “even double agents and cats of dubious alignment have someone who loves them very much. The last song on the album, “Little Skylark (safe at home)” is another lullaby for September now that she has returned safely home form Fairyland.  Wonders is an enchanting journey through fairytale and adventure, delivered with all the charm and wit and lilting harmony that captures S. J. Tucker fans’ hearts album after album.”

-Sharon Knight, Coreopsis Journal, San Francisco, CA


“The new album is called Wonders and is everything that you would expect from S. J. Tucker and the musicians that help her create an eclectic and whimsical sound.  In many ways Wonders leaves us all wondering a bit and really looking at the world a little differently…Everyone from the first time listener to children, elderly, long time fans and everyone in between will find enjoyment in S. J.’s lyrics and music from start to finish.”

-Heather Marseillan, The Tacoma ExaminerTacoma, WA


“SJ Tucker, the archetypal Celtic myth-punk, conquers a lot of new territory on the Ember Days soundtrack, and takes no prisoners. From ferocious “Earthling”-era David Bowie drum’n’bass sounds to the hallucinatory otherworldliness of didgeridoo and overtone flutes, this is both an unexpected departure from her previous body of work and a bold and exciting new direction. I can’t wait to hear what comes next!”

Ben Deschamps, Amphis Music, Toronto


“On March 5th singer-songwriter S.J. Tucker released the soundtrack she composed, produced, and performed for the micro-budget fantasy epic Ember Days. Known largely for her folk-based material, Tucker uses the project as a way to experiment and grow as a composer, dipping into neo-tribal, electronic, and industrial sounds. The results are refreshing. The listener is opened to depths only hinted at in previous albums; a darker sonic tapestry that Tucker obviously enjoys playing in. Tucker, an artist who usually exudes joy and a fey sense of fun, drops the smiles here to excellent effect on tracks like “We Were Angels Once (Wake The Fallen)” and “We Are Shangri – La (Emerald City Mix).” In addition, we are reminded through the many instrumental tracks that Tucker can write compelling arrangements without having to rely on her able and road-tested voice.

-Jason Pitzl-Waters, S. J. Tucker, Ember Days, and Pushing the Boundaries of Pagan Music


“SJ Tucker’s original music for Ember Days is deep, dark, and soul evocative. There is an eerie quality to all of the songs and a heart wrenching emotional pull from the driving beat that grows teeth and claws. This is a blending of different genres and a definite branching out from her previous work. SJ’s fans will find much to love in the soundtrack both as accompaniment to the movie and as a stand-alone album.”
-Sherry Kirk, Producer, Ember Days


“Singer/songwriters take note, this is what you should be doing and how you should sound.”

J-Sin, review of Tangles Editor’s Pick


“She’s got Dar [Williams]’s sardonic sincerity coupled with Janis Ian’s vocal chops and the deft guitar hands of Emily Saliers. Her lyrics swell up from the underworld, where so many artists venture but which few truly understand.”

Phil Brucato

NewWitch magazine, review of Haphazard


Usually I would worry (I took 4 years to put out my first CD because everything had to be radio ready and perfect) when someone said they were LACKING in PRODUCTION, but THIS is LACKING of NOTHING! Her voice, her stories, her incredible guitar playing, and fun just blew me away. I felt like I was in a live concert at Living room or a coffee house.

singer-songwriter Kama Linden

FemMuse.Com, review of Haphazard


“First off, she can honestly sing like Joni Mitchell, no lie. With a swirl of acoustic strumming to back her, Tucker lets her most important instrument shine, that rich, sophisticated soprano voice of hers, one that would have landed such impressive originals as ‘Face-down’ and ‘Heart Beat’ on Blue back in 1971.”

Bill Ellis, Memphis

Commercial Appeal, review of Haphazard