ROCK & REPRISE.NET
As much as I love the music of Sunday Lane, you might think that I would remember where I came into contact with her but I don't. It was perhaps through a PR firm promoting her EP at the time, Bring Me Sunshine. Maybe I stumbled upon her on the Net. All I really remember is that from note one, I was entranced with her young girl voice, her sense of melody and her songs. As young as her music seems to be (indeed, at times it seems straight out of junior high, topic-wise), it is written and recorded with a maturity which belies her youth and her subject matter. She reminds me of Dala in the sense that her penchant for youth and love is presented in a package that anyone who has ever been in love can appreciate. And her music is universal, melodic and reaches to the core of who you were if not who you are.
This could be teenybop, but it isn't, really. It could be romance, but it is not really that either. It is, surely, Pop. But it is beyond those and it lies in the way Lane constructs her songs. You see, she has an unerring sense of verse and chorus. I know what you're thinking: what's to know? You write a verse and then write a chorus and put them together, right? For those who do not have the magic touch, possibly so, but Lane does so with choruses which complements verse way beyond the norm. She makes a good verse better with, on the whole, an amazingly apt chorus. I know because when she really nails it, it sends chills down my spine. I know because I spent a good part of last year buried beneath the weight of a track from her EP, Heavy Heart, Heavy Hands, a song which sent me to the depths before bringing me out of said depths with a verse and chorus combination which struck (and still strikes) deep.
Here she is with a full album this time (From Where You Are) and it is maybe more of the same except that that same wasn't enough the first time around. And it is only the same in that she is Sunday Lane and sings with that same little girl voice and writes with that same depth and sense of melody. In other words, she hasn't changed much. Which is good. Very, very good.
If I had a wife or girlfriend, I would play this album for her, but I don't. I have been pre-destined to sit alone, immersed in the pools that are Slowly, a song ready-made for Broadway theater, and Want You Back with its plaintive cry of “You're a heart attack” before her plea of “I want you back”, a dichotomy of love in its simplest form, without reason and full of emotion. And Painted Blue, a prime example of that verse/chorus combination I talked about earlier. If you don't hear the juxtaposition of verse and chorus or the perfection of the two together, you are heartless and dead to me.
Oh, it's not all tears and roses. Lane has an up side which is as good as those mentioned and it is a very good upside, indeed, but it is when she plumbs the depths that she strikes the real gold. Truth is, she digs deeper than most. Either she has lived (or is living) a life way beyond her years or she is an emotional savant. This is beautiful stuff. Beautiful.
About the recording: It is keyboard-heavy but perfect for the weight of most of the songs. The use of background vocals, mostly on the upbeat tracks, is intriguing if not totally apt. And it sounds great. Not that I'm saying it is an audiophile's dream. I really have no idea. I'm here for the music. And, like I said, this sounds great.
Frank O. Gutch Jr.