Sarah Burrill,
If By Chance
(Grand Damn, 2006)

Strength and beauty -- two words that immediately come to mind while listening to If By Chance, the second release from Cape Cod, Mass. singer-songwriter Sarah Burrill. Burrill and her music are undiscovered gems in the otherwise too often predictable world of today's acoustic singer-songwriter music scene.

Burrill's latest release is lightyears ahead of her 1993 Feather Records debut CD Stained Glass in every way imaginable. Gone are the overly produced tracks, which weighed down some truly amazing songwriting and vocals. Bravo to fellow performer and producer Greg Greenway for letting the magic of Burrill's amazing songwriting and voice shine through on this, her sophomore effort.

If By Chance takes the listener on a journey on which Burrill travels through both the dark and light musicscapes on her way to recovery from a rare form of breast cancer. "Welcome Home" and "One More Trip" are two of the most powerful songs I have heard in a very long time. The last time a song went to that deep place in my soul was when I heard John Lennon's classic "Imagine" for the first time. These two tracks should become classics as well. But don't think this Massachusetts performer is always on the serious side; one listen to the live version of "The Pajama Song" will set the record straight on that. A totally fun song, it lends a great sense of lightness to this release.

From the world groove of the opening track "Act of Love," where the music is so catchy I often found myself humming it, to the closing earthiness track "Spirit" -- this is a truly wonderful CD from start to finish. If By Chance is a recording that deserves to be heard by the entire universe, preferably in a comfortable pair of pajamas.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Elizabeth Marks

24 May 2008

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