Sarah Kelly is the latest talent scouted by Toby McKeehan's own label, Gotee Records. Helming from Rockford, Illinois, Sarah offers a positive and often worshipful pop/rock sound on her debut, Take Me Away, showcasing her versatility in songwriting.
The title cut opens the album, a catchy radio-friendly pop/rock song that easily represents what Sarah's heart and focus is all about. "With You" follows, a passionate acoustic-driven track that displays Kelly's commanding vocal power. Many times throughout the record, Sarah's vocal style varies greatly, mixing a sound reminiscent of artists like labelmate Jennifer Knapp, Plumb, Alanis Morisette and even The Cranberries. Despite being able to associate her styles with other popular artists, Kelly's delivery is unique, resulting in a sound that seems all her own. Although this is Sarah's first national recording, her vocal confidence gives her the feel of an experienced veteran.
Highlights like "Forever" and "Take Me Away" prove that Kelly shouldn't have a problem quickly establishing a fanbase. Her lyrics are emotional and personal, forsaking the trite to adopt relevant themes. Songs like "Living Hallelujah" and "Please Forgive Me" are humbling moments for Kelly, admitting her brokenness and need for her Savior.
Kelly offers powerful and passionate vocals that demonstrate vocal authority and versatility on Take Me Away. Fans of Knapp, Morisette, Plumb, and solid female-fronted rock 'n' roll-glazed pop will find a surprise gem in Sarah Kelly's debut, Take Me Away.- Review date: 2/8/04, written by John DiBiase
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