Continuing her growing success story, British singer/songwriter Sarah Louise has announced that her latest album ‘Change of Plan’ will be released on March 28th, a special day for the artist who celebrates her birthday on the same day.

Sarah Louise-  With me, a song has to be about something personal to me, or I have to know the person it happened to. I need to feel the song before I can sing it. I can’t fake the emotion in the song.

That was part of what Sarah Louise had to say to us when we spoke to her a year ago, in March 2023. How time flies! At that point, she was releasing a new single, “Half of You,” and she has clearly been busy, as here we are a year later with a new album. Linking to that opening quote, her country-style vocals and songs tell stories about all chapters of her life and experience of heartbreak, self-development, songs for her family, about relationships and so many more to come! Further, she has recently started a live acoustic duo called “From the Wild” with her musical friend Will Underwood, whom she met at a songwriting retreat in Scotland. They have written some beautiful songs inspired by nature, and they have several shows and festivals booked for 2024.

And now, on with the review.

“Better Be Lightning” is a squarely country track, a sway as you listen number. It is a number that I would love to hear on a late evening with the moonlight and a glass of wine. It is understated, and perhaps not where I would have started the album, but it works just fine.

“Cup of Coffee” was one where I loved the guitar. It is a sad song with a light touch instrumentally. We all sometimes drift and want that person to see us; what life is it to be always waiting! It’s that storytelling narrative, a blend of folk and country.

“Be Real” opens up with almost a Samba beat! It has a great groove, and I am sure it would sound great live. The sound is catchy, and the whole feel is upbeat and happy. Sarah Louise sings that she is ready to move on, and it is a song about leaving that unreliable other, but the song is packed with positivity.

“Just For You” leads with the piano and that slight jazz feel that I like a lot. This was actually one of my favourites on the album; it has a dreamy quality of memories and someone not with us any more. It was the anniversary of my dad’s passing this week, and I miss him every day. Sometimes a song just connects, and this one did.

“She Lost Her Way” This is a cool little number, with some lovely harmony with the vocals and plenty of story and emotion that Sarah Louise delivers well.

“Sorry Not Sorry” made me think of the Anne Boleyn song from “Six.” But this is entirely different! The song also appears in a live version as a bonus track. I enjoyed this one a lot, as it is loads of fun and has this little laugh-along chorus that puts a smile on your face!

“Half of You” is a dreamy romantic piece that was released a year ago. Sarah Louise spoke to us about that one at the time, saying this was actually a break-up song. I didn’t place that in the song description as it was a bit raw and personal, but now I can deal with it. It is telling the universe what you want and what you manifest in a relationship. It is what I see in the relationship that is worthwhile, and it is when you feel it in your heart. That other half of you belongs to the other person, and you should be able to share that other half of you.

“I Ain’t Got the Time” is a little darker with the piano lead in. She has a vocal style that sometimes reminds me of Beverly Craven. This is a strong track, very polished and mature in sound.

“The Smile” returns to the Jazz Club. It is slow and smooth jazz; Harding is having whiskey in the White House and the cigarette smoke hangs in the air. In the meantime, we fall in love!

“Part of the Story” is a romantic number. Some acoustic guitar and a simple melody fit into a gentle romance with lyrics for that special person. It lifts to some vocal harmony in the chorus section.

“I am Angel” is a strong track musically. It is almost medieval in its feel. Only time will save us. It was a shift in direction musically, and I found myself drawn into it. I would say we are not far off early Enya territory with this track; it was very interesting.

“Roundabout” is a crystal clear vocal to finish up with. It is a touching, wistful and sad number.

“All I Need” is a bonus track on the CD. It has a gentle acoustic guitar and some strings underpinning this lovely melody. About halfway through, it picks up the drums, sways gently to the rhythm of leaving the past behind, and sings of connecting spiritually to that other special person. Smooth Radio should be paying attention here!

So, I found this a surprising album in many ways. I wasn’t expecting the smooth jazz touches, and that samba beat on one song was a delight. Thoughtful musing, storytelling and harmony are the keys that unlock this rather lovely album.

Standout tracks: “Be Real,” “Just For You,” and “The Smile.”

The album and Sarah Louise’s other music can all be streamed on this link

Artist website here.

And we hope you liked the review, dear reader! If you did, please check out the other pages of the magazine; we have many great features, merchandise, editorials and even poetry! We work hard for you, and if you want to show some appreciation and support what we do, then do use the Support Us link below! Always appreciated.

By Lorraine Foley

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