Sarah Fimm
Near Infinite Possibility


4.5
superb

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
May 1st, 2011 | 25 replies | 12,087 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sarah Fimm has never been one to repeat what she has already done, and she isn't about to start now.

It's amazing how far Sarah Fimm has come since releasing Cocooned in 2001. There was a time when her music was dominated by electronics and chill beats with only Sarah Fimm's vocals left to provide any human element. That dynamic slowly changed, though, as Sarah set out to deliberately make her music more emotional and dynamic. Although each album slowly made progress towards that goal, the first huge leap came with her EP White Birds. Without rehashing every nuance of that excellent EP, suffice it to say that it saw Sarah successfully end her reliance on electronics and, more importantly, it proved that she had it in her to deliver truly touching songs ("Tamara Song" in particular). The natural final step seemed to come with the release of Red Yellow Sun. This was the album that did away with the remaining electronic elements and replaced them with electric and acoustic guitars, organic percussion, classical instrumentation and a larger folk influence. It appeared that Sarah Fimm had finally realized her vision, but Near Infinite Possibility proves that she hasn't settled down just yet.

Red Yellow Sun as a whole seemed to be built around quiet folk-influenced melodies that left the songs feeling very open. This warm meditative ambience was the key element that locked all of the songs together, but it also gave the album a homogenous feel. Near Infinite Possibility, in contrast, seems to pull from many diverse influences – from 70s psychedelic rock to 90s alt. rock and even a bit of prog. This collection of influences, for whatever reason, has lead to an album that seems to radiate with an underlying sense of sadness. It's not just in the lyrics (although it's there too) but also in the tones and melodies. There are songs such as the first single, "Yellow", that are blatantly dark but even on tracks such as the proggy and catchy "Closer" the music creates a slightly sinister ambience through the use of dissonance, melancholic guitar melodies and the occasional strange sound effect. This underlying sense of depression isn't just an isolated incident either; it's a feeling that seems to lie just under the surface of just about every song (and is also placed right at the forefront from time to time). This sense of unease and unhappiness peaks on "Disappear" – a track that reminds me a lot of the kind of thing Alice in Chains were so good at on Dirt.

These songs not only display another side of Sarah Fimm's music, but also just how diverse this album is. Opening track, "Soul Let Swim", sets the tone for the album by gently easing listeners into her latest direction. Overall it's an upbeat alt. rock song that makes excellent use of layered and harmonized vocals, but it also makes subtle use of elements that will come into play later such as the gloomier feel and occasional use of dissonance. One track was apparently all the time Sarah was willing to give listeners in order to make the adjustment because "Invisible Satellites" pushes listeners into the deep end with its moody atmosphere, sparse electronics and potent vocals. From "Invisible Satellites" forward Sarah Fimm ushers in track after track of gloomy, yet catchy, music that is inherently alt. rock, but with a much more diverse scope thanks to her use of folk, prog and psychedelic rock. If this formula sounds a little bit unfamiliar compared to Sarah Fimm's past works, it should. In fact – as it was with the transition from Nexus to Red Yellow Sun – there is very little on this album that one could call similar to the previous release. If Red Yellow Sun was the soundtrack of a contemplative woman taking the good with the bad but ultimately enjoying the moment, then Near Infinite Possibility is that same woman coming to grips with some buried emotions that finally need to be expressed and the music fits that vibe perfectly.

When Red Yellow Sun was released people naturally assumed that it was the end result of Sarah's vision for her music, myself included, but we were wrong. Near Infinite Possibility proves that there probably isn't a true end result in Sarah Fimm's mind, just a natural and continuous progression that will continue to twist and turn in unexpected ways. This means that each album should continue to be a surprise and Near Infinite Possibility certainly is. It is an album that takes a turn towards darker pastures and less relaxed surroundings. The warm acoustic folk of the previous album has been virtually eliminated in order to make room for a hybrid of alt. and psychedelic rock that flirts with moments of prog, dissonance and sparse electronics. This has made Near Infinite Possibility a much less comfortable listen, but when the results are as good as this and the songs and lyrics can engage so easily, a little discomfort is well worth the price of admission.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
May 1st 2011



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is streaming here:

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/blog/?p=6556

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Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 1st 2011



8221 Comments


Another day, another great review, but this probably isn't for me as you might already guess haha.

Digging: Metsatoll - Karjajuht

Gyromania
May 1st 2011



14647 Comments


Good review, Trey. I'm really loving this album, may just have to bump my rating with subsequent listens.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2011



23636 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice stuff Tyler (edit, Trey woops. I was the confused one sorry). I didn't like the stream that
much the first time I heard but it's been growing on me. The album is like a 4 I think.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

Jom
Staff Reviewer
May 1st 2011



2593 Comments


Awwww yeahhhh Trey "Tyler" Spencer, way to rock it out once again. I'll get to the stream as soon as I have some time. Nicely done as always.

cvlts
May 1st 2011



8917 Comments


I love logging in with Explorer and witnessing these ridonculous avatars. Chrome sux.

Digging: Pedro the Lion - It's Hard To Find A Friend

Anticubital
May 1st 2011



1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow...amazing! Thanks!

Xenophanes
Emeritus
May 1st 2011



10553 Comments


Man I've gotta get this. Great read.

Digging: Saintseneca - Dark Arc

Willie
Moderator
May 1st 2011



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tyler? I'm confused. Or are you confused?

Thanks Jom. I think this is your kind of album.

lancebramsay
May 1st 2011



1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was great

pizzamachine
May 1st 2011



12568 Comments


Great review as always.

Willie
Moderator
May 2nd 2011



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks. Check it out?

DoubtGin
May 2nd 2011



6685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haven't listened to any of the recommended albums, but this looks pretty interesting.

Also, yes Obama!

MO
May 2nd 2011



17357 Comments


LOL Willie whats your avatar from? So awesome.

Digging: Soundtrack - Turok 2: Seeds of Evil OST

Photon
May 2nd 2011



1288 Comments


heard a couple of songs when she posted them on Facebook and they were great.

Digging: Pink Floyd - The Final Cut

Willie
Moderator
May 2nd 2011



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

We've got the full album streaming here. The whole thing is great.

sarahfimm
May 2nd 2011



6 Comments


Thank you for these words. Words are powerful. I'm grateful.

Willie
Moderator
May 2nd 2011



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

As long as people are reading them. Hope last night's show went well.

pizzamachine
May 3rd 2011



12568 Comments


Checked. Great album, but I doubt I'll be listening to it that much.

jingledeath
May 3rd 2011



7104 Comments


Just listened to Yellow, it was fantastic. I will definitely be checking this out but I think I'll listen to Nexus first.



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