Sarah Darling's new two-disc set, "Angels & Devils," is an excellent follow-up to her stellar 2009 debut album, "Every Monday Morning." The songwriting on this record is brilliant and her voice is as beautiful as ever. When I imagine what the angels will sound like in heaven, they sound like Sarah Darling. If they sound any less perfect, I think I'm going to be disappointed.
Disc one of the two-disc set includes the album's first single, "Something To Do With Your Hands," which was recently the #1 viewed music video on CMT.com. It's a great introduction to fans who may not be familiar with Sarah's work.
As I mentioned, the brilliant songwriting of this record brings Sarah's talent to a whole new level. Perhaps one of my favorite lyrics comes from a song called "Bad Habit" – "Wanna be your cigarette / be the one that you can't quit / …I wanna be your bad habit." The lyrics convey a vulnerability that expresses just how much she wants to be loved by someone. She just wants to be that one person that this man can't live without. The song also features beautiful harmonies from country superstar Vince Gill.
The album's title cut, "Angels & Devils," is excellent. The pounding of the drums in the intro and in the verses does a great job of building up to the big, booming chorus that I guarantee will have you singing along in no time.
Sarah took a big leap of faith by attempting one of the biggest songs by one of the biggest bands in the world, "With or Without You" by U2. No worries, though; the girl can pull it off. Covering a U2 song and making it believable is quite a task, but she put her own spin on it and it turned out absolutely beautiful. It's very simple, yet it has an intensity that draws you in like a moth to a flame. I can't stop listening to this song. Believe it or not, I think I may prefer this version to the original. Sorry, Bono.
Disc two contains another cover song originally done by a big-name artist – Elton John's "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word." What do you get when you combine amazing, gorgeous, fantastic, superb, exquisite, lovely, heartwrenching, and achingly beautiful? This song. Her voice is only accompanied by a piano and a steel guitar and it is absolute perfection.
"Stop the Bleeding" is a song that was also included on her first record. It was a favorite of mine then, and it still is now. I have heard her sing this acoustically numerous times in concert and it is flawless. It is definitely one of my favorite songs to hear her sing live.
The only song I'm not wild about is the acapella version of "Something To Do With Your Hands." The guys singing background vocals creep me out a little and the loud finger snaps sound a little out of place; however, with as good as this record is, I can't hold this against her.
If you aren't familiar with Sarah's work, I highly suggest that you study up. You can start by requesting "Something To Do With Your Hands" at your local radio station; then hop on over to iTunes, Amazon, or any music retailer and pick up her debut record ("Every Monday Morning" – it's awesome, too) and her latest achievement, "Angels & Devils."