A couple of months ago Sarah Smith released her latest album titled 11. 11 was a personal life sharing album to create and the lyrics throughout the album express this. Every song has a different meaning and story behind the lyrics. Each song differs from the next, and even going from a happy note and into a darker sounding feeling. Sarah was not afraid to focus and share her personal thoughts and experiences. Each song may be up for interpretation within the lyrics depending on the listener, I would like to take out “Runaway Stay” as a possible song up listener interpretation.
11 starts off with a soft and tender feeling song titled “First Time”. Sarah has mentioned that this album for her was a personal journey and the lyrics penned in this song shows us a small light into this aspect with her writing. The track itself is a blend of Country, Rock and Pop. The organ I found really what braces all three genres together. I found that the organ really adds a nice sounding layer and also acts as a filler as well. The backing vocals with slide more into a harmonic act as the song progresses casts a nice sounding blanket on the vocals as a whole. Sarah spreads her vocal characters out during the song and gives you a small taste of what she has to offer, from the soft rock, Adult Contemporary and into solid Rock vocals ( I have always loved her unmistakable rasp).
Right away when I heard the rhythm in the intro of “Lay It On The Line” the song instantly stuck with me no matter how many times I have listened to this album so far. This song as well balances on the fence of being either a Country or Rock. The lead guitar in the track is one of the main hooks in the song next to Sarah’s vocals of course. I really found that it picks away at your ears in all the right spots and moments in the song. The organ once again adds such a nice filler and background sound in the song. The acoustic guitar is really blended throughout the track almost adding and, or acting as a layer earlier in the song. As the song progresses the Acoustic acts more as a predominant sound. As the song progresses the Acoustic acts more as a predominant sound. I don’t think there could have been a better way to finish off the song then going with a softer fade out. I found it really helps push the title and meaning of the song.
The tempo throughout the album is also up for change throughout each of the 17 tracks on the album. “The Dark”, and “Angels and Anchors” quiet the album down but also gives 11 such a deep and rooted contemporary sound. Then there are the uplifting tracks which include but not limiting to , “All Day We Will Sing” and “Lay It On The Line”. The album has also spurned a pair of videos so far with the songs “Already Here” and “Undertow”