Sarah Fimm
Nexus


4.0
excellent

Review

by Steven McMahan USER (49 Reviews)
May 24th, 2009 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Wondrous and dreamy trip hop soundscapes created around always-flawless female vocals.

It’s been about five months since a fair portion of Sputnik learned/heard about the White Birds EP, offered for free as Sarah Fimm’s Christmas gift to her fans in 2008. One would figure that after such a gesture on Fimm’s part, coupled with a generally positive response, people would be eager to look into her back catalogue. For whatever reason, no one has – except for me of course.

There are two things fans of White Birds should know before diving headfirst into Nexus. First, it’s not as diverse as said EP. While many of the tracks have their own identity, and almost every song has at least one catchy and/or memorable vocal melody, there isn’t a folksy acoustic song like “Counting Waves”, nor something as grim as “Let it Run”. Whether it’s a negative or positive is up to you – Nexus feels more unified as an album because of this, but since “Let it Run” was one of the better songs on that respective release, one can’t help but wish she’d tried something like it four years earlier.

The other disclaimer: this album is anything but immediate. Upon first listen, I found the album extremely homogenous and drawn out (it kind of still is, but more on that later). Such a statement, however, could be applied to a multitude of great metal albums, and with each listen, the strengths of each track will reveal themselves. And believe me, several of those strengths encompass almost the entire album.

First and foremost, Nexus is a trip hop album. An odd number of the tracks feature “real” bass and drums – which gives them a bit of a soft rock feel – but the bulk of the album centers around synths and electronic beats. The songs with real drums can feel a bit upbeat, but perhaps the best words to describe the others (and Nexus as a whole) would be “dreamy” and “euphoric”. In other words, this is the embodiment of air that Thrice failed to achieve, and Cynic only achieved to a certain degree. It’s atmospheric, spacey and a host of other synonyms, but this is mainly achieved via Fimm’s greatest asset: her voice.

No matter how good the trip hop behind her gets, it’s Fimm’s voice that keeps the songs at such a high quality. Her lush, sensuous fits the music perfectly, and even though her range isn’t that spectacular, there are absolutely no weak vocal moments to be found. And as mentioned before, most of the songs have at least one memorable and/or catchy vocal melody.

The only real problem with Nexus is the one alluded to before: its length. Two minutes short of an hour just feels like overkill, and upon first listen it might feel painfully long. Even after that, one or two tracks could have been left off the album. Luckily, that’s the only real trouble with an excellent trip hop album from a severely underrated musician. Ending with a wonderful 7-minute (semi) finale and the best of three short instrumental pieces, Nexus is beautiful, consistent and (at least somewhat) unique. Best of all, it might not even be her best album.

Recommended tracks:
Velocity
Story of Us
Nexus
Walk Away



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user ratings (19)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ninjuice
May 24th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So I hope this doesn’t suck. And I’m guessing I like this a bit more than other people will, idk.
This and her other two full albums are only $7 each on the Amazon MP3 store, and she’s pretty much unknown, so please don’t download!

Oh yeah and I’m gonna trust Trey’s recommendations from his White Birds review – hope he was right!

handoman
May 24th 2009


2386 Comments


sounds like something i would like, downloading now

Willie
Moderator
May 24th 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sounds like something i would like, downloading now
From the Amazon store; right?

Great review. I like all of her releases but never had a chance to review them. I'm glad someone did.

ninjuice
May 24th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Edit: (to Benzum) Like I said, it can be overwhelming at first, but her voice keeps you coming back for more.

So Willie you have heard them? Which one would you recommend next?

marksellsuswallets
May 24th 2009


4848 Comments


Ooohhh...Sarah Fimm...I get it...

Will look into this.

Willie
Moderator
May 24th 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd recommend what you're doing now; working backwards from newest to oldest.

ninjuice
May 24th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Brent you should get White Birds first, seeing as how it's free.

Haha Willie I just got this cause it was the best value (an hour for $7), but I guess I'll do that. Why didn't you rate them?

ninjuice
May 24th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Same here Benzum.

Willie
Moderator
May 24th 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha Willie I just got this cause it was the best value (an hour for $7), but I guess I'll do that. Why didn't you rate them?

I haven't rated a lot of things I've got. I'm actually slowly going through and doing that now.

ninjuice
May 24th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Will add this to the list of things to look for next time I go into an actual record store.

Good luck finding it! And at a better price too.

marksellsuswallets
May 24th 2009


4848 Comments


Downloading (White Birds) now. Will listen after dinner with parents.

Willie
Moderator
May 24th 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good luck finding it! And at a better price too.
Yeah, Amazon is the best bet for getting this cheap. iTunes has them for 9.99 each and that's where I got them.

ninjuice
May 24th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never tried using the MP3 store though.

Yeah I don't see why it wouldn't show up on your computer. You just get their program for MP3 downloads (which shouldn't take long) and it goes to your hard drive like w/ iTunes.

gaslightanthem
May 24th 2009


5209 Comments


shit is so grim she should consider a name change to sarah grimm

kitsch
May 24th 2009


5107 Comments


i remember downloading white birds and never really listening to it

devsol
May 24th 2009


347 Comments


shit is so grim she should consider a name change to sarah grimm

made my day

jaaaystone
November 19th 2009


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yea, Sara is awesome. You can also find her music on http://www.cdbaby.com/all/sarahfimm if you want to support this wonderful artist. She also has a bunch of cool stuff on her official website. www.sarahfimm.com. I heard she is coming out with a new digital release soon.

Hewitt
December 3rd 2009


371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Listening to this right now and really enjoying it. I already am a big fan of White Birds so I will have to check out more of her stuff soon.

jaaaystone
December 9th 2009


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sarah has a new album out on December 12th. its called The Vanishing Sessions: B-Sides part I. You can hear the album free for a short time @ http://www.sputnikmusic.com/feature.php?id=5765 . Check it out it is great.

jaaaystone
December 10th 2009


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sarah has released her album early!! you can buy it here at CD Baby https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/fimm6 check it out



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