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Sarah Whatmore - Time To Think

Sarah Whatmore, Time To Think

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

SARAH Whatmore made headlines back in 2001 when she appeared on Pop Idol and refused Simon Cowell’s marriage proposal on national television. For that reason alone, she should be applauded and encouraged!

Nevertheless, even though she didn’t make it to the final, she was offered a management and recording deal with Simon Fuller’s company, 19, and subsequently released two successful singles.

Then, unsure about the direction her career was going at that time, Sarah took the bold decision not to release her debut album choosing instead to concentrate on her writing.

Now, she has re-appeared with that album, Time To Think, and would have appeared to have benefited from the decision to take it slow. Rather than putting out an album of easy pop records, a la most Pop Idol/X-Factor flash in the pans, Whatmore has crafted a set of diverse songs that showcase a real vocal talent.

Admittedly, not every song works… and there is a slight over-emphasis on ballads during the second half of the album. But there’s also plenty to suggest she has a long career ahead of her.

Last year’s single, Smile, for instance is an instant pick as an album favourite. A tale of heartache that follows the breakdown of an intimate relationship, it’s cleverly interspersed with a vocal sample from the Hall & Oates 70’s track Sara Smile, and showcases a nice soulful set of vocals.

Prior to that, album opener Undefined offers a breezy pop record that gets the album off to an easy listening start, complete with a nice mix of piano and acoustic guitar.

Other favourites include Unsure, which displays a nice humility in her songwriting as well as a melodic chorus, title track Time To Think and final track Own Designs which almost cheekily piano checks Sigur Ros’ Hoppipolla.

Ironically, Whatmore is at her best when keeping things more upbeat, as ballads such as Permanent Last Resort and Empathy tend to sound a little wishy-washy.

But all in all, this is an accomplished debut that should ensure that Whatmore builds on the good work she did post Pop Idol. She’s a star in the making.

Download picks: Undefined, Smile, Time To Think, Own Designs

Track listing:

  1. Undefined
  2. Smile
  3. Somewhere I Belong
  4. Unsure
  5. Permanent Last Resort
  6. Time To Think
  7. Innocence
  8. Empathy
  9. Surrender
  10. Own Designs

  1. I my self found this album very relaxing, I loved the music in the background. Yes I sat and listened to every song and it was my cup of tea, well done to Sarah Whatmore

    suzy    Mar 31    #