Sarah Sample Best When She's Sarah Simple


Someday, Someday


* * ½

Sarah Sample has a sweet voice with a lovely catch in it, the kind we want to hear. The open question, though, is whether we can hear it. Someday, Someday is a mixed bag of bulls eyes and misfires. Sample’s voice is what you might get if you added some twang to Cyndi Lauper and took away the gale force power. Sample airs it out from time to time, but there’s not a lot of grit to it. As a rule, this album dazzles when she keeps things simple, but stumbles when attempts at flash set off warning lights.

The album opens with the bouncy “I’m Ready,” a charming country pop song with a good hook. She follows with the simpler “Calling Your Name,” which isn’t as catchy, but is actually more suited to her voice. And so the roller coaster ride begins. “Shadows of a Song” is nice, but it calls for more sultriness than Sample musters, whereas the simple, stripped down “One Mistake” is gorgeous and affecting. The pop jazz treatment to “Be My Middle Ground” works really well, but the Wrecking Ball-like ambience of “Don’t Bury Me” serves mainly to remind that she’s no Emmylou Harris. The grunge-meets-country-meets hand jive “Staying Behind” is cool, but Sample’s voice gets drowned in the mix; whereas the finger-snapping ukulele-driven “Holiday” evokes 1920s flapper jazz and is pure funky fun.

Get the point that this CD is inconsistent? Don’t get me wrong; it’s definitely worth a listen. At the risk of a horrible play on words, you should sample Sample. There’s a lot of talent here, but in my view she needs to decide if her forte is west Texas or west LA.

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