Label: Be Darling
Release Date: February 10, 2017
Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur
Sarah Darling popped up on my radar a few years ago when she was releasing singles, videos, and EP’s, but move the calendar to February 10, 2017 and we see Ms. Darling releasing her first full length disc in almost six years to the day. Disc opener “Wandering Star” is a cool track that allows you to hear glimpses of the twang in Sarah’s voice without becoming too countrified. This alternative / pop / country swirl pushes this collection off in the right direction. “Where Cowboys Ride” takes us back to Darling’s influences and roots with a great song that highlights guitar that embraces her vocals and delivers a mellow punch of old school country vibe without a dated sound. “Tell That Devil” is a track that keeps you coming back time and time again, thanks to the chugging riffs, heavy rhythm section, and throaty vocals. Toss in some countrified guitar work on the chorus and bridge and you have a song built for modern country radio with crossover ability. “Please Please Please” unfolds with a mellow acoustic guitar that dances very lightly in the mix while Sarah seems to croon the lyrics, giving them a crisp feel and sound compared to others on this disc and from her catalog. The orchestration on this track takes this track to a different level. “Montmartre” is one of my favorites on the disc, thanks to its simplicity and emotionally delivered vocals that are nearly unmatched on any other track on this disc. The richness in Darling’s voice demonstrate her maturity and grasp of the music she is creating. The jazz feel that is wrapped in the music turns this song and collection on its side… in a great way.
“Anchor” starts off with a nice acoustic guitar piece that is soon accompanied by Sarah’s vocals and the song draws you in, between the lyrics and the honey-smooth delivery from the singer. This is one of those songs that will carry itself perfectly in a live situation. “Starry Eyes” has the qualities and components that make up the most recent ballads from other country artists, placing this one in line for the weekend countdown at some point during this album cycle. The vocals are enhanced by the guitars and rhythm section, which happens to anchor the track when Darling seems to want to elevate the track at the chorus. “Halley’s Comet” is the third single from the disc and it sets the bar for Sarah in 2017. The vocals on this track are full and give the track and disc depth without becoming overpowering. The musical accompaniment on this song is light, allowing the piano interludes to lead the way while the guitars, bass, and drums anchor the chorus. There is a slightly different radio edit of this track available as well. Lead single from the disc “You Take Me All The Way” is a beautiful track dripping with a jazzy sensuality that takes the beauty of “Montmartre” and gives it a sexy makeover, from the throaty vocals to the sexy horn at the bridge giving this song an after-hours club feel that draws you in and keeps you listening. Disc closer “Star Gazer” has a different feel and sound to it than most of the songs here, but is a fitting closer to this disc. The vocals are sweet and very reminiscent of Darling’s earlier work, lending a youthful sound to the dreamy lyrics and music. Hopefully we will get the chance to hear some of these swirled with other cool songs from her catalog when she tours to support this disc.
Tracklisting: Wandering Star – Where Cowboys Ride – Anchor – Tell That Devil – Starry Eyes – Please Please Please – Halley’s Comet – Montmartre – You Take Me All The Way – Star Gazer
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