Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
Anyone looking for that all-Texas classic country throwback singer will likely find Christen Sawyer to his or her liking. This Louisiana born, Texas based all American girl next door has that countrified look down and should have fans of that genre clambering to hear her.
Sawyer is a new girl on the scene with one full-length album under her belt, Picture Un-Perfect. This undertaking tends to play like one continuous droning song with each composition blending into the next, offering nothing different from the last and before you know it, you realize you have stopped listening. This does not mean she sounds horrible, only that she needs to redefine her goals and change things up a bit so she will be able to keep the audience's attention.
Her voice is strong and pure and unmistakably country. Sawyer's Facebook page lists her as country, pop and rock, which is unfortunate as there is definitely no crossover happening. If anything, this gives the impression that she is uncertain of her direction and may be in the midst of a sort of identity crisis where it would be more to her advantage to embrace her talents and forge a path full steam ahead. Since she has already won the Texas Music Awards 2010 Female Vocalist of the Year, it should be apparent this is where she belongs.
Her own website contains the headline, "Country from the heart with a little edge." That is a great goal, but there is no evidence that this is what she is honestly trying to achieve. A look at contemporaries Miranda Lambert and Gretchen Wilson show an edge that Sawyer has not found. Her songs are typical, clichéd love songs that do not present the listener with anything new, especially since they resemble 1990s classic country.
The one exception to this could be "One Too Many (Saturday Nights)" which contains a smattering of that elusive edginess as the girl is done being taken advantage of by her man. Still, the line "It ain't a problem once or twice" does not exactly project strength.
Sawyer shows a lot of promise within the country genre and it is almost certain she is an audience favourite when covering classic country artists, but now it is time for her to make her mark and establish herself as a presence. She is worth putting on your radar if country music is the brand of beer you like crying into. Do not write her off just yet.