Judee Sill – Heart Food
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The second album Judee Sill made proved to be her last. This brief though enjoyable outing took its toll on Sill -- a notoriously slow songwriter -- during its making, turning her back to her recently kicked heroin addiction and away from the desire to create more music. Instead of using an outside arranger for the strings (as she did on her previous album), Sill did all of the work herself. Her lack of formal training and the immense amount of orchestral overdubs certainly would have made such an outing a hardship for anyone. The album doesn't suffer much from its sometimes syrupy exterior, though -- the songs are almost as strong as any of those from her debut. To wit, Heart Food suffers only in comparison to its predecessor; otherwise, it's a stellar example of the kind of singer/songwriter fare the music industry was mining in the early '70s. The supporting cast of top L.A. studio musicians solidifies Sill's unique brand of country-flavored pop, which moves from introspective meanderings to loping rock, often within a single song.