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Sarah Jane Scouten (from the album Turned To Gold available on Light Organ Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
The third album by this Canadian bred, Scotland-dwelling, songstress, Sarah Jane Scouten, offers an earnest embrace, not merely because if the quality of its ten songs, but also because of the emphatic emotion Scouten invests in each of the offerings.
Granted, Scouten has yet to gain the larger following that she so rightfully deserves, but Turn to Gold, as its title implies, ought to be the album to remedy that. It’s a set of songs that boast supple melodies and inspired sentiments, from the quiet caress of “Is It Just the Whisky Talking”, the considered take on the title track, and the emotive intrigue of “The Great Unknown”, to the drive and dynamic emanating through “Wanderlust”, the compelling sound of “Wilder When I With You”, and the superb and sturdy Rocker “Dragonheart”. No matter what the mood, Sarah Jane Scouten pursues both drama and desire in equal proportion, making the music all the more impactful in the process.
One particular lyric from closing track “Little Band of Gold” effectively sums up her stance:
‘It’s a delicate as something you dreamed of
And it’s a thin thin line
It’s so fleeting you could blink and you ‘d miss
All you had and all you left behind…’
Fortunately, Scouten all but ensures the sentiments she shares will linger even after the final notes fade. The songs grab attention even at the outset, courtesy of instrumental arrangements that are as decisive as they are determined. Scouten, who plays guitar and sings, has an outstanding backing band in Matt Kelly (guitars, keys, pedal steel and vocals), Leon Power (drums, vocals), James McEleney ((bass vocals), Johnny Payne (Guitar, vocals, harmonica), and Anna Scouten (vocals) and their combined contributions clearly serve these songs exceptionally well.
Ultimately then, Turned to Gold is an effort that commands attention and ensures that its resilience remains intact throughout. It’s not only a high mark of Sarah Jane Scouten’s career, but also an album that can be considered one of the sleepers of the year overall. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Sarah Jane Scouten from AMAZON
For more information, please visit the Sarah Jane Scouten website
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