Reviewed by Phil Thomson
The best singer/songwriters bare all - especially in a debut album. Raw, innocent, quirky, that kind of thing, ballads with tears; a bit of anger, mystery, even playfulness. We get to know who they are - through their drive, their unalloyed passion, their insistence on a unique view of the world. It would be in the phrasing, the instrumentation, the concepts. Not here. Sadly, Laura Sterling delivers up a clutch of rather timid songs - which might as well be anonymous - in a gentle, folksy, slightly nasal voice, with a limited range and little expression. Well, parts of some of the songs suggest a good musical idea, but there is no conviction, and the production is unimaginative. There is no style, no character. While the titles follow traditional lines - "My Eyes Are Ever On The Lord", "So Many Miracles", "My Lord, My Savior", "The Voice Of The Lord", etc, the compositions are predictable and the playing perfunctory; industry standard. In other words, there's actually nothing much wrong with it for a market which often takes bland MOR to its heart. It is simply not distinctive. I was looking for WOW! - if only one song to move me, a voice which would go all the way in the X-Factor, a sound to raise the hairs on the back of my neck. Not a hint of it. These days, your work needs to mean something, to stand out. What an opportunity for adventure, for entertainment (what's wrong with that?), surprise, excitement. Sincere, well-intentioned isn't enough. No risk, no point.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out