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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bethany Sayers - This Is Me

Bethany Sayers - This Is Me
2011, Bethany Sayers

Bethany Sayers is a twenty-four year old singer/songwriter hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee.  A performer at heart right from the start, Bethany made her stage debut with a solo performance at Disney World.  Performances at various venues along the East Coast and nationally for corporate clients helped Sayers build her stage presence, and additional training through Belmont University and with professional vocal coaches in Nashville developed her technical precision.  Sayers has been writing songs since her teens; she has now taken the natural next step, recording a collection of ten original songs entitled This Is Me.

This Is Me kicks off with the title track, a statement of self based in faith, belief and human imperfection.  "This Is Me" is a solid pop/rock ballad with a big radio-friendly sound.  Sayer's alto voice is sweet, and delivered with a bit of flair.  "Being A Girl" is a song of empowerment, exploring the things that make being a girl difficult as well as the things that make it wonderful.  The pop arrangement here is solid and ready for radio, while Sayer's message is the sort parents will be happy to have their young daughters hear.  "Change Your World" is a swan song, sung from the perspective of someone facing their final goodbyes.  The message is one of love for a spouse of child, and stands out in stark contrast to the material that came before.

"Head First" is a catchy expo on taking a chance on love.  Sayers displays a wonderful presence here in a fun tune.  "Miss Magazine" decries the images women contend with in magazines.  Sayers talks about true beauty and the struggle to be yourself, encouraging those who listen to simply be who they are.    The song is incredibly well-written and positive in attitude and approach.  "Kiss My Goodbye" is a firm kiss off tune that skips the vitriol common in pop music and sticks with honest emotion.  Sayer's salts all of this with a tremendous pop chorus.

"You Deserve" explores the sort of treatment a lady should expect in a relationship.  It's not so much a treatise for the men out there, but a reminder to the ladies listening of their value as individuals.  Once again, Sayers manages a positive message in a sweet little pop/rock arrangement worth hearing.    Sayers explores the downfall of a relationship in "Lonely Tonight", noting how things could have been different if only he had treated her right.  It's a blue country ballad with a memorable melody and a sound that could take Sayer miles.  "Whatever You Say" sounds like it might precede "Lonely Tonight" chronologically; giving him one last chance to make things right before she walks out the door.  Sayers closes with "I Look To You", a prayer in song that's solid without breaking any new ground.  It's a proper bookend for the album thematically, but is something of a let down in sound and style.

Bethany Sayers impresses with This Is Me, exploring honest emotions and uplifting themes wrapped around a core of faith, all tied to accessible, radio-friendly pop/rock arrangements that are easy on the ears.  Sayers does lose her breath control occasionally on the end of long phrases or during difficult transitions, but these are minimal and likely manageable with a bit of hard work.  As a songwriter, Sayers manages to convey positive thoughts in uplifting songs without surrendering to cliché or Hallmark-style pastiche.  The end result is a legitimate and honest series of songs written right from the heart.  It would be foolish to ask for more.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Bethany Sayers at or  This Is Me is available digitally from and iTunes.

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