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Sunday, April 20, 2008

REVIEW: Tara Tinsley - Sail Away

Tara Tinsley – Sail Away
2007, Tara Tinsley

Tara Tinsley went all the way to Japan to record here second album, Sail Away. The result is a nuanced collection of folk & rock tunes about love and heartache. Dancing back and forth between the painfully honest vibe of Jewel and the gritty determination of Emm Gryner, Tara Tinsley has crafted an album full of highs and lows and some great songs.

Don’t Tell Me is perhaps the best song on the album (for this reviewer). Other highlights include More Than I Should, Where To, Controlling Me, Just Because and Roommate. These songs display just a bit of a punk attitude. These songs are concise and convey their message in a tight musical package that is fun to listen to. Some of the more vulnerable songs (More Than I Should, Sail Away, When You Leave Me) sound a little young too me. They convey the feelings of loss and regret in love that we have all felt, but have yet to acquire the distance and narrative that capture a listener’s empathy.

So what we have here is a worthy effort from a songwriter who, at 23, is still learning her trade (and learning it well, I might add). Ms. Tinsley is a very capable songwriter who has produced some great folk-rock songs on Sail Away. Her voice is perfect for the material she has written, and her backing band is more than proficient. She reminds me quite a bit of another Indie folk-rocker by the name of Jess Klein.

Any problems with this recording are not a matter of talent or production, but of maturity. This recording is uneven in the same way that Jewel’s first release, Pieces of You was uneven. Both recordings balance great folk-rock songs that we are perhaps a little young in their perspective and are therefore given to an emotionally honest but immature perspective that is more interesting to the person feeling it than the person hearing about it.

Given the talent of Ms. Tinsley for writing songs, this issue will take care of itself over time. This is a worthy effort, and should be a great stepping stone on her way to the Rolling Stone cover she so very much desires. This is an opportunity to watch a young singer-songwriter with great talent develop into a great artist. Don’t miss her on the way up.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can check out Tara Tinsley at, where you can purchase a copy of Sail Away. She also has a presence on My Space.

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