Sara Melson

Album Title: Dirty Mind
Release Date: February 26, 2008
Genre: Pop
Dirty Mind is Sarah Melson’s self-produced debut made up of 12 pop songs that don’t bring that much new to the table when it comes to the singer-songwriter genre.

The choruses are too simple and repetitive on most of the tracks, such as “Feel it Coming” and ”Anywhere Anytime”. For example, instead of coming up with a couple of lyrics to fill out the chorus, Melson will continue to repeat the song’s title during what is supposed to be the catchier part of tune: “I feel it coming/I feel it coming/I feel it coming/I feel it coming now…” or “I’ll go anywhere anytime/I’ll go anywhere anytime/I’ll go anywhere anytime with you”. And her expressions about love and relationships seem cliché: “Love you like I’ve never been hurt before”.

The second half of the record is more interesting. Title track “Dirty Mind” makes you want to know more about the person with the “wicked secret smile”, though Melson’s request for this same person to “hold me down until I cry” sounds a bit masochistic. The singer begins to use more of her vocal muscles in the inspirational “Rise Up” and the next song, “Fall Down” starts off more aggressive than previous tracks. When it comes to the chorus though, “Fall Down” veers back into the pop territory that Melson normally inhabits. The alternation between the sounds is what makes it work.

Melson’s songs, along with her unique voice, seem to work best when there is some variety in the songs – the folk and country sensibilities when an acoustic guitar accompanies her lyrics helps to bring out her emotion. One exception is the pretty closing track, “Birthday Prayer” – a lament on the piano about Melson’s fear of the loss of youth, which leads her to appeal to God to take care of her.

Writer: Stephanie Ng Wan

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