Album Review: Sarah Peacock — Albuquerque Sky
Sarah Peacock has a voice that’s a force of nature. At times soft and nuanced and occasionally rafter-rattling powerful, Peacock sounds equally home at country or in pop. That kind of versatility brings to mind Kelly Clarkson or Jessee Havey of The Duhks by way of comparison. Peacock’s second studio album, Albuquerque Sky, gives the Georgia native a chance to genre-hop a bit, and her voice is more than up to the challenge.
Peacock straddles the line between pop and country/Americana, with contemporary, radio-friendly arrangements that still treat the banjo and Dobro as more than the “token country instrument.” “Paralyzed,” one of the album’s highlights, contrasts an upbeat, mandolin-driven arrangement with dramatic lyrics heavy on religious imagery. “Not Just a Country Song” and “Dry Spell” would fit in well with the current crop of female singers/songwriters leaving their mark in Nashville. “Albuquerque Sky” strays a little further from a traditional country arrangement, but it features a solid vocal performance and well-written, wistful lyrics.
Peacock wrote and produced the entire album (and played guitar and piano/keys), which was recorded and edited in numerous hotel rooms, houses, studios and apparently, anyplace else she could find while in the middle of a massive tour. Some of the 16 songs could have been left behind without any harm done. “Jeans,” the opening ode to ogling, doesn’t make for a very good first impression. “Cast My Line” is another harmless ditty, but Peacock shows elsewhere on the album that she’s capable of much more.
Peacock, with on her voice alone, can take a mediocre song and make it compelling and interesting. Based on the songs on Albuquerque Sky, she has the songwriting knack to create something worth singing as well. It may be hard to place her in a single musical genre, but there’s no denying her talents.
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