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Sherrie Austin

Words – 1997 (Arista)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Sherrie Austin

Aussie native SherriT Austin comes out of the gate strong on the lead-off "Lucky in Love" with her big, full-sounding voice. She sings with authority (the uptempo "I Want to Fallin Love (So Hard It Hurts") and recalls fellow Oz mate Olivia Newton-John on the more tender songs "One Solitary Tear"), though not as syrupy sweet and a brassier Nanci Griffith ("Innocent Man").

So why hasn't this disc taken off? Probably because after awhile, the generic quality of too many songs ("Trouble in Paradise" and the bluesy "Put Your Heart In It"), seven of which Austin wrote, sets in. Hard to know whether to fault her or the production of Ed Seay and Will Rambeaux, who aim for too much of a country pop sound. When given the chance, the playing is tasteful with Dann Huff's guitar often standing out.

Austin would have proven much more distinctive with a sparer musical approach, especially given her vocal skills.