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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Josh Fuson Takes on The Supremes

The Supremes, the latest all-original record from Colorado-based singer-songwriter Josh Fuson, is a masterwork of political critique couched in highly enjoyable, super catchy tunes. Consisting of ten songs based ostensibly on the lives and times of the nine Supreme Court justices, The Supremes rarely wavers from the barely-electrified indie folk that makes Fuson’s music so recognizable and so gratifying. Like the matching black robes the justices wear to court, these ten songs are all dressed in similar clothes (light drumming, bass, acoustic and electric guitar, some organ/keyboards), but what they’re wearing isn’t really the point. Like the justices themselves, what’s inside these songs is as different as Scalia from Sotomayor.

Ranging from nostalgic tales of home and childhood (“Don’t Let The Sun Catch You In Bed”) to bitter, blistering political broadsides (“No No I’m Sorry You Can’t”), The Supremes is the most resonant during those moments when Fuson sheds light on the interior lives of these enigmatic and powerful figures. Songs like the haunting and delicate “To Cecelia” could be about anyone, but set within the context of the album, it becomes a candle set amidst the roiling and hostile emotions of a life on the Supreme Court. Listening to this song it is easy to imagine Justice O’Connor sitting in her bed at night, the lights off, her eyes closed, her mind running and wandering.