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Sarah Sadler
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Sarah Sadler - Click to view!Pre-teen pop finds another voice through 19-year-old Sarah Sadler, daughter of Gary Sadler, the writer of the worship song "Ancient of Days." It may be a weak, overdone, and familiar voice, but it's still a voice.

From the art design, I imagined Sarah could actually play the Taylor guitar she holds in one shot. I looked forward to some rock tunes similar to Superchic[k] (especially since the photographer dressed her up exactly like Tricia, the lead singer). To my dismay, there is not one guitar riff in this collection. The song "Where I'll be Waiting" creeps into some upbeat almost rock sounds, but it's still completely driven by electronics.

The recording actually reminds me of Rebecca St. James' album Transform, only Rebecca has stronger vocals. While Sarah Sadler stays on pitch (hopefully through her own effort and not through pitch-altering machines), there's not much power in her voice. I know it's a style to expel most of your air as air and not as a support to your voice, but I still grew bored by the fact that her vocal style remains identical throughout the project. She also stays in one vocal range, singing the same notes in basically every song—although again, this is due to the ZOEGirl/Jump 5 style.

The words do reflect a positive message, speaking about God's love and having a relationship with Him. So this record might be a good influence for elementary school girls whose parents don't want them listening to Britney Spears. She sings in "Down to You," "You are always faithful all the time / Everyday, I live for every dream that waits beyond me." In "Beautiful" she sings, "when I'm with You / I see the world in a different light / You make me want to be so beautiful / You make me want to be just like You / Beautiful." With self-esteem now plaguing the minds of six year olds, it might be smart for parents to get their kids listening to music which talks about wanting to be beautiful like God, not like Cosmopolitan girls.

The reason why I say this recording is geared toward pre-teens is because of the simplistic lyrics. Over-used phrases fill the entire CD. In "Best Thing," Sarah sings, "I'm not the same / everything changed / when I found You." Does she realize how many people have said the exact same thing? She could benefit from a good course in metaphors and similes. In the song "Love Affair," the lyrics read, "I cannot explain why I feel this way." If one cannot explain why they feel a certain way, then why use words to write about it? Why not use another artistic voice, such as paint or dance?

Needless to say, this isn't a record for the college-aged. I can see the perfect audience being the 10-13 year old girls just getting into music and the beginning stages of womanhood. I'm sure this is the audience Essential Records imagined when they took this new artist under their wing. If this self-titled record gets one of these girls thinking about God, then more power to Sarah Sadler. And since she herself is young, let's hope she gains power in vocal production, lyrical content, and general artistic expression.
- Hollie Stewart
October 2003
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