Sarah's Girl - All About Me

Sarah's Girl
Sarah's Girl All About Me.jpg
Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

Cleveland, Ohio singer Stacey Crawford uses the pseudonym guise of “Sarah’s Girl” as a way to constantly remind her of the memory of her late mother. With her anointed stage name and after being groomed in a litany of family gospel groups, Sarah’s Girl isn’t afraid to spread her wings and explore the depths of contemporary soul and sultry R&B on All About Me.

She doesn’t stray too far away from her roots as she sings of inspiration for tough times (“We Get By”) and goes for BeBe & CeCe Winans’ lyrical tricks on the Memphis soul-sprinkled “Lifting Me High,” but the twelve-track disc points the indie singer in the right direction towards R&B notoriety, entertaining good love and dreamy ‘90s soul. Her versatile pipes are equipped to handle Sade slow jams (“Illusion”) and the bigger gospel-injected soul numbers (“Hands of Time”), although she seems to be a bit hesitant and cautious when going for bigger gutsy finishes.

Cleveland, Ohio singer Stacey Crawford uses the pseudonym guise of “Sarah’s Girl” as a way to constantly remind her of the memory of her late mother. With her anointed stage name and after being groomed in a litany of family gospel groups, Sarah’s Girl isn’t afraid to spread her wings and explore the depths of contemporary soul and sultry R&B on All About Me.

She doesn’t stray too far away from her roots as she sings of inspiration for tough times (“We Get By”) and goes for BeBe & CeCe Winans’ lyrical tricks on the Memphis soul-sprinkled “Lifting Me High,” but the twelve-track disc points the indie singer in the right direction towards R&B notoriety, entertaining good love and dreamy ‘90s soul. Her versatile pipes are equipped to handle Sade slow jams (“Illusion”) and the bigger gospel-injected soul numbers (“Hands of Time”), although she seems to be a bit hesitant and cautious when going for bigger gutsy finishes.

However good Sarah’s Girl maybe on the inspirational front, more subdued soul is where she belongs and is the primary blueprint for All About Me. She slithers across SWV-sounding R&B on “Whatever It Is,” while the serenading background harmonies – a delicate addition to the set – wrap so easily around “You Make Me So Happy,” “If It Weren’t For You,” and Fantasia’s “Truth Is.” The tempo barely escapes the conventions of smooth “Quiet Storm,” but when it does pick up, like on the nightlife celebration “Tonight” and the light funk title cut, Sarah’s Girl isn’t brash in dispensing more energy when needed.

She puzzlingly squeezes a Mother’s Day tribute to Sarah Weeden Richardson, her mother, by pulling on the coattails of Hall & Oates’ classic “Sara Smile.” Throughout the tune, there is just too much lovey-dovey caressing and cozy lounge jazz effects onboard to surpass its narrow interpretation as a daughter-to-mother devotion.

There is a major preponderance of ballads to filter through as Sarah’s Girl exaggerates her soulful blend of Regina Belle and Jill Scott. She does try to open up the gateway for some experiments. For instance, “Dreamer” imports symphonic rock using guitar rock riffs and an ample, OneRepublic-esque piano, but it feels strange on her, like Dionne Warwick trying to attack Adam Lambert’s “Whataya Want From Me.” All About Me easily falls into the abyss of romantic adult contemporary and vintage soul – what young folk call “grown-folks’ music.” It feels good on her. And at first listen, you couldn’t imagine her doing anything else. Recommended.

By J. Matthew Cobb

 
Video of the Month - Kea Michaels - "I Love You"
Album of the Month - Will Downing - The Promise
Featured Album - Candace Bellamy - Soul for the Season
Choice Cut - Kenya - "Favorite Things"

Leave a comment!