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Sarah Buxton

Sarah Buxton – 2010 (Lyric Street)

Reviewed by Jeff Lincoln

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CDs by Sarah Buxton

Sarah Buxton had to wait for the chance to release her own music after a few singles misfired, but she did not sit still. She wrote a hit song (Stupid Boy) for Keith Urban, chalked two ACM noms for Best New Vocalist and got personal encouragement from Stevie Nicks and John Rich.

So here is the actual record, after her digital-only 2007 release, "Almost My Record." It covers a lot of the same ground (five songs) from that introduction. But there are some key additions: the first being the big single, Outside My Window(, with its breezy positivity in the face of life. Also new is the gorgeous Big Blue Sky(, born for the wedding song circuit and the repeat button. Buxton has a knack for finding talent and surrounding herself with it - Jedd Hughes, who sings lead and penned the song, qualifies in spades.

While Buxton likens her voice to a rasp, it seems to only get that way when recorded in a sleepless condition. She's also capable of a lush high-end. Her tone showcases terrifically on her own version of Stupid Boy. Understand that this is pop-country territory. But the five different producers, including Buxton, mercifully keep her voice forward and only occasionally break out the guitar attack. Still, Buxton's "that's just me" songwriting charms the whole way through. Her optimism isn't an affect.