Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

SANDY CARROLL

Unnaturally Blonde

2014-02-28

Singer/Songwriter/pianist Sandy Carroll lives in McNairy County, Tennessee, but considers Memphis her spiritual home. She has been a working professional musician and composer since the 1980s. She has headlined at Lafayette's Corner Club on Beale Street in Memphis, released numerous albums, written professionally for countless other recording artists, and was awarded her own "brass note" on Beale Street which you can see installed in front of the Hard Rock CafĂ©.  She even wrote the theme song for the Memphis Mad Dog football team, a member of the short-lived South Division of the Canadian Football League. Unnaturally Blonde follows up "Just As I Am", her first album for Catfood Records.

Sandy Carroll  got plenty of high-caliber help on Unnaturally Blonde. Sandy's  music is produced, mixed, and engineered by multi-Grammy Award winner Jim Gaines, who is also her husband. They brought in some pros with serious chops to back her up.

The result is a slightly bluesy, slightly country, lounge performance. Hear her in a hotel lounge, and you'll think she is much better than the room deserves, and probably ought to have some albums out. Sad to say, Unnaturally Blonde and doesn't have anything special to offer above a competently entertaining performance, well produced, with finely skilled backup musicians. The songs all sound vaguely reminiscent of other songs you've heard some other time, in some other place, but can't quite put a finger on.  There's nothing grating, but nothing exciting, either.

Any song on this album would make a good "palate cleanser" for those times when you want to calm things down, slow them up, and change pace.

---Gerald Etkind

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.