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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Sarah Morris

Hearts in Need of Repair

Review by Gary Hill

This set leans well toward the country music end of the spectrum. The main selling point here is the vocal delivery. I'd say that it's quite an effective collection of a series of solid songs. There is one tune that's a bit too down-home for my tastes. The only other complaint is that I'm not sure that the sequence of songs is ideal to make for a strong set. Still, it works well enough as is.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
Hearts in Need of a Little Repair
This cut is a pretty one. The vocals are the selling point here. This has a bit of a sound like Fiona Apple but mixed with hints of country music and more. All in all, this is a great choice to start the set.
Good at Goodbye

Folk music and country merge on this slice of life piece. It's a classy cut that works quite well. As it rocks out later the country elements really climb to the fore.

Cheap Perfume
Another mellow country tune, this has a classic sound to it. It's moving and energetic, but still on the more sedate side of the spectrum in a lot of ways.
The ukulele brings echoes of Tiny Tim, but the voice lends a more serious tone to this. The cut works toward more of an alternative rock based sound as it continues.
Falling Over
Folk rock and country are merged on this classy tune. I love some of the instrumental work here a lot. The vocal delivery has a southern-tinged bluesy feeling to it. This is one of the coolest cuts here. It's definitely a highlight of the set.
Course Correction
Speaking of rock music, this one rocks more in the introduction than anything we've heard to this point. It still has a country edge to it. It drops to a mellower, more stripped back arrangement for the verses, but comes back up a bit as it hits the chorus.
Empty Seat

This has some intricate guitar built into it. It's more of a balladic piece. It is less country than the bulk of the stuff here, but still has some of that element at play. It's a strong cut that brings variety and style.

Shelter or the Storm
A slower moving, bluesy cut, this is fun. It has a real artsy edge to it. Yet, it's visceral at the same time. This is one of the more purely rock oriented pieces here.
Nothing Compares

A country ballad, there is a lot of down-home sound here. This gets a bit too twangy for my tastes. Still, it's a pretty tune.

On a Stone
With a bit of a duet, this is another balladic cut. It gets some intriguing strings later. This is a potent cut, really. I'm just not sure how wise it was to put ballads next in the three final slots. Of the two, this is the middle one in terms of effectiveness.
The strongest of the three ballads that end the set, this is a slow moving country number that's pretty and powerful.
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