Music

CD Review: Sarah Kenyon’s Love Again

kenyonIf Sarah Kenyon decided today to pack it all in and give up on the business we call music (and heaven knows that will never happen …) she would do so having already accomplished far more than most in her position ever will. With the voice of an angel and a face to match, Kenyon has fronted the ’90s-influenced alt-rock indie band GrandEvolution with a ferocity that somewhat contradicts her cherubic demeanor. In fact, since 2002 she and her cohorts (including a drummer who worked out so well she actually married the fella) have gone after rock’s brass ring with the single-minded persistence of a heavyweight prizefighter training for the championship belt. Under Sarah Kenyon’s leadership, they’ve released a new album like clockwork every other year since their inception, and in doing so have honed their writing and recording skills to an art form.

And all of this tenacity and hard work has paid off for GrandEvolution in some fairly impressive achievements, including working with great acts like Soul Asylum and Everclear, and earning accolades from fans and critics alike. Let’s face it, Pulse Magazine doesn’t give out Worcester’s Sexiest Musician Awards to just anyone, ya know! But make no mistake, dismiss Sarah Kenyon as just another pretty face at your own peril, because this New England Institute of Art alumna is poised to make her mark on an audience far wider than the surrounding areas of Wormtown.

Never sitting creatively stagnant for any stretch of time, Kenyon has momentarily veered from her GrandEvolution juggernaut to pursue a solo project in the form of a two track CD single “Love Again” and “Let Go.” The latter is a sharp divergence from her edgier alternative side, mostly devoid of heavy crunching guitars often associated with her GrandEvolution day-job. In a crystalline vocal performance, Kenyon draws the listener into the song so deep, it becomes  something just short of hypnotizing. “In the moment let go and fall into me. Let go and set yourself free — In a moment when you feel it it can change everything. In the darkness you wake up and find that it’s all just a dream, so let go …”

The single “Love Again” is three minutes and 20 seconds of pure radio-ready power pop. Though more upbeat than its counterpart, Kenyon has created another short yet potent mini-masterpiece. Along with project producer Peter Hubbard (of the band Whiskey Bent), Kenyon utilizes her strong commercial sensibilities, along with strings, keyboards, and oh that voice: “Lay your body next to mine, let me hold you one last time – Just tell me one more time how to love you again before I die.”

Sarah Kenyon is an overachieving Renaissance woman who’s paving her own path through a world that often rewards mediocrity and also-rans. Whether fronting her band, going solo or embarking on a much-rumored modeling career, Kenyon consistently brings to the table a work-ethic and enthusiasm for the project that all but guarantees success.

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