CD Review: Sara Radle “Four”

You may not realize it, but chances are you’ve heard Sara Radle already. She plays guitar and sings for the band Walking Sleep and was in The Rentals with Matt Sharp (Weezer) in 2005. She’s shared stages at festivals with many bands including The Flaming Lips and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The Texas native is now ready to release her fourth solo effort on September 14, simply entitled “Four”.

“Four” is described as a peek into Radle’s personal diary. Her intensely personal lyrics and the trademark sweetness in her voice invite the listener into her world, which is supported by a soundtrack of indie pop and rock. While Radle has clear indie rock roots, she has a great sense for melody and crafts a chorus that sticks with you. She puts her tender voice to further good use by decorating her songs with copious harmonies that are lush and uplifting. It seems she’s reached back to the 60s to sound like one of the numerous girl groups predominating that era (check out “The Baxter Hill”). But what makes “Four” even more fun is that Radle is not one-dimensional – despite her soothing voice, she can show some teeth and bite.

The record begins with one of my favorite tracks, “Fooling Nobody”, a sunny song with a playful piano line and harmonies that lead to a jamming guitar-driven chorus. Light strings enhance the mid-tempo “The Lonely King”, taking this catchy fable to new heights. She flaunts her love for garage and indie rock most blatantly on “A Reason To Stay”, another infectious treat for new and long-time fans alike. “Song For Adam” will make everyone wish they had a Sara Radle in their life to sing them a such a sweetly supportive pep talk. A final highlight is “Over Now”, perfect if you need a good break up song.

Check out Sara Radle if you are a Rentals fan, and if you like Lisa Loeb or Frente!

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 12

Sara Radle on MySpace. Official site.