This isn’t Sara Watkins’ first venture outside of Nickel Creek. Young In All the Wrong Ways is actually the third album she has released as a solo artist. It seems like just yesterday the California native was playing fiddle with her brother and Chris Thule, but in truth, she has actually been performing for well over 20 years now. Watkins certainly isn’t new to the music world, but this latest release could very well be the most important contribution she has made to it.
Young In All the Wrong Ways is a delightful mixture of Americana music. There are country/bluegrass moments with tracks like “The Truth Won’t Set Us Free” and “One Last Time,” while the song “Move Me” features a more pop sound than we are used to hearing with Watkins. She handles it wonderfully and it fits in perfectly with the rest. My favorite moment on the album may just be the second track, “The Love That Got Away,” which features a somewhat haunting overtone complimented nicely by a simple piano.
Perhaps the most notable change on the album is the absence of the aforementioned fiddle throughout most of Young In All the Wrong Ways. It seems incomprehensible to think of a Sara Watkins album without that being the theme, but the lack of it makes for a more modern singer/songwriter feel. The result is refreshing to say the least.
What might be the most underrated thing about Watkins is her voice. Sure, we all know she can sing, but she shows more than ever on Young In All the Wrong Ways how effortless it is for her to transition from a boot stomping power vocal to essentially a delicate lullaby.
Sara Watkins has certainly made a statement with Young In All the Wrong Ways, as the execution is nearly perfect. The lyrics are charming and the melodies are easy to listen to without being boring. It goes without saying that you should definitely be listening.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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