Tall Tall Shadow

Tall Tall Shadow

Basia Bulat’s smartest move was enlisting the help of Tim Kingsbury of Arcade Fire and Mark Lawson, the GRAMMY-winning engineer of the Fire’s album The Suburbs. By locking in two people further out from her usual folk style, she ensured herself an album that would be like no other in her catalog. If purists turn their noses up at the upbeat pop frills of “Promise Not to Think About Love,” it’s unfortunate, since like many of the songs here, the additional backup choruses and bouncy grooves make that track practically irresistible. Besides, she’s shown her quirky side all along (2007’s “La-Da-Da” anyone?), and she did let her former producer, Howard Bilerman, alternate mixes with Lawson. She still communes with her autoharp on the soaring, birdlike “It Can’t Be You.” And the strength lurking in the honest and vulnerable “Paris or Amsterdam” is a work of palpable grace under pressure.

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