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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Review: Sherri-Anne - Love, Light, Life!

Sherri-Anne - Love, Light, Life!
2008, Canyon Edge Records

Sherri-Anne is a small town girl from British Columbia in Canada who came to the United States for college/university. While there, Sherri-Anne was bitten by the performance bug. A Missy Higgins concert was the tipping point. Noted by Canadian legend Tom Stinson during an “Okanagan Idol” contest, Sherri-Anne refused to do anything but her own original tunes. That contest resulted in a recording opportunity that later led to her debut album, Love, Light, Life! Produced by Tom Stinson and mastered by Joao Carvalho Mastering (Canada), Sherri-Anne brings her powerfully positive message to life on 12 songs (10 written by Sherri-Anne and 2 by her musical contemporary Bird).

Love, Light, Life! opens with Awake, a positive-themed pop tune with a feel good message based in kind of a new age self-help philosophy. The tune is a mildly aggressive pop tune with an mild but pointed edge to it. Sherri-Anne has a voice reminiscent of a mildly breathy Lisa Loeb. The arrangements are sharp, pointed acoustic pop sides that are compact and tuneful. Change Will Come is a perfect example of the material here. The general lyrical content is in that self-help/feel good realm and will definitely appeal to a specific niche of fans. Selfish Girl see saws from ballad style verse to rocker girl chorus juxtaposing hope with a vindictive, told-you-so attitude.

Love, Light, Life! is a happy, hopeful anthem that is part universal prayer and part humanistic self-actualization chant. It's catchy and upbeat and just slow enough to not be the danceable song it wants to be. Where Have You Gone? is the heart-rending anthem you knew all along would be here somewhere. The protagonist is pining and promising to wait in what is ultimately a lovely ballad; the sort that 14 year old girls or their emotional equivalents dedicate on shows like Delilah to the ones who got away. We Meant Love is peppy and upbeat, complete with hand claps, juxtaposing love against the things valued in popular culture. It's actually a great message song, although perhaps a little too peppy for its own pith. The rest of the album is of similar material, strong in positive thoughts and images and pop-oriented arrangements.

Love, Light, Life! is one of those albums you like at first listen but may not create a long-term bond with all listeners. Sherri-Anne is a strong songwriter able to craft hook-laden pop songs capable of overwhelming a listener in their pure confectionary air. Like all great pop music, such light offerings tend to grow old before their time. The exceedingly positive messages in many of the songs on Love, Light, Life! will sit well with some listeners and not so well with others. This is one of those discs I really have to suggest that everyone check out for themselves, as I suspect the range of reactions will be all over the map, and perhaps even a bit unpredictable. Sherri-Anne is a very capable performer, and in Love, Light, Life! she has created a note-worthy album deserving consideration and discussion.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Sherri-Anne at You can purchase a copy of Live, Light, Life! At

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