August 12, 2002

Sarah Shannon "Sarah Shannon"

Can we really be surprised that Sarah Shannon, former and current Velocity Girl singer, would make an album of baroque, light-jazz pop, a la Bacharach? Stranger things have happened, and this isn't one of them.In fact, the pairing of Shannon's husky yet sensual voice with Blake Wescott's gorgeous instrumental production works in only the grandest of ways.

Normally, such grand aspirations fall in to the category of "adult contemporary." Reminiscent at times of late-1980s Everything But the Girl, Sarah Shannon provides a great new take on a tried and tired genre. Unlike alt-rock contemporary Nina Gordon, Shannon's not going for anything haughty or overwhelmingly commercial here--she's just singing pop because, darn it, she likes pop.

The opening "Down" quickly sets the mood of a lite-jazz radio playing in a coffee shop in a hip downtown area of (insert your town here). The rest of the album never breaks from that formula, yet it never once falls into a rut. Personally, I'm absolutely content with Sarah Shannon. I never could have expected that she would make a record so sublime, so beautiful, and so nothing that she's ever done before

Yep, there's none of that smelly indie-rock here, and let's thank god for that. "Call You on the Telephone" will quickly make you forget about "Crazy Town," and, as a whole, Sarah Shannon will make you forget all about that last Velocity Girl record. While a blatant change of style fails most of those who attempt it, Sarah Shannon's got a winner here, folks. I can't help but wonder if they'll take a walk down the path formed by Sarah Shannon, for it might just prove to be the key to success they missed the first time around.

--Joseph Kyle

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