Following an independent release, Sara Groves got people talking in 2000 with her INO Records debut Conversations. With a mature sound aimed mostly towards a more mature crowd, Groves reinvented herself in 2002 with her follow-up, All Right Here. The folk sounds of her debut remained but instead served as a foundation for the newer pop-frosted approach. Her newest venture, The Other Side Of Something, is poised to be her strongest release yet as Groves stretches her vocals and spreads her artistic wings.
One thing that Groves has done differently on The Other Side than she has for her previous projects is enlist the help of acclaimed and uber-talented producer Charlie Peacock. Her usual producer, Nate Sabin, is still in the chair, but teaming with Peacock was a brilliant decision and makes a noticeable difference. Sara seems to have the greatest handle on her voice this time around. In the past, her voice has sounded a little too flat or melancholy for its own good. Groves brings it further than ever before, even to the edge where pop and rock meet on gems like "Jeremiah" and pulls it off beautifully.
Sara and Charlie team on "Compelled" to really weave a beautiful pop piece followed by the fragile "Roll To The Middle," a ballad written following an apparent riff between her and her husband. Sara is all about honesty. Her writing is vulnerable and transparent. There are no walls between the listener and the heart of the author penning these lyrics. Even the unorthodoxly composed "Boxer," which was born out of an extreme low point for Sara, blends a quasi-jazz sound with the honesty of the struggle we can experience throughout our Christian walk. Groves further steps out of her comfort zone with the borderline silly and downright fun "All I Need," a tongue-in-cheek song about our obsessions over material "needs."
All in all, The Other Side Of Something exposes another side of Sara Groves. This young family woman has grown musically and spiritually and invites the listener along for her journey. If you're a fan of artists like Nichole Nordeman or or Jennifer Knapp, or are just looking some fresh new pop music that strays from the norm, The Other Side Of Something should not be missed.- Review date: 3/21/04, written by John DiBiase
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