Sara Radle – Four

Sara Radle – Four

When you’ve been playing in a handful of bands for more than five years – one of them being with ex-Weezer member Matt Sharp – there’s always a great deal of forbearance in realizing that whatever you do next, it has to be absolutely great. For Sara Radle, working with and in music has always been something she could turn to and eventually, rest her assets on. Adorably whimsical, the Texan singer worked at her pace and style in creating the music found on Four. Deciding to record between her old standby home studio and a newly found, elevated studio in California, Radle’s comfortable nature resonates the strongest on a solid release.

In especially talented ways, Radle takes the best quality in her arsenal – her voice – and quickly turns it into some kind of a juggernaut. “Lucy” is where Radle advises on “thinking like a guy” to get to the supreme goal of having control. It’s always the most difficult when everything is pointing in the opposite direction but in the end, it’s balanced self-confidence that wins out. Even with the guitar roar on “Fooling Nobody,” Radle sings about “being damaged” and in turn, “having baggage.” It’s always the most terrible kind of luggage you want to be carrying around but with a tinkering keyboard and the angular riffs of the guitars, Radle asks for support as she sings, “I’ll hold on to you…” Sure, it’s not the best kind of news to receive when entering a new relationship but she’s not here to fool anybody; instead, she’s all about dividing and conquering.

“A+K” adorns a loving memory of Radle singing about the love connection when someone goes back to find a troublesome world of nostalgia. Yet, “I know what to do…I’m coming to you.” She sounds confidently assured that everything will work out and she’s depicting that affectionate level when people can look at each other in the eyes and somehow, know exactly what is going on in each other’s brains. Working with engineer Dennis Moody, Radle eases the music with a steady blend of wistful pop. The introduction of a synthesized sound and spectral vocals around her on “It Won’t Last” is a brilliant one in closing the album. There’s nothing else that sounds as coolly smooth as when Radle sings, “You go and be a superstar…if you can, but not with me.”

There was concern about moving an entire career from the home-grown roots of Texas to the busy, signal-calling of L.A. But as she sings on “Crossroads,” Radle knows that all it takes “is a swift kick in the ass.” Her voice is the star here and it’s the kind of voice that only gets better with repeated listens. In the end, you can take the Southern girl to the city but you can’t take the Texas twang out. Four might be the sound of a singer-songwriter that is currently at a fork in the road but in trying to decide which direction to head, Radle can comfortably know there’s no rush in making a decision.

“Song for Adam” by Sara Radle

Jeez Louise Records