Sara Groves snuck onto the scene in 2001 with her surprise debut hit Conversations. The mellow piano-driven melancholy and honestly-written album wasn't easy to swallow for every listener, but something about this young woman caught the attentions of quite a few. With one year under her belt, Groves releases the more listener-friendly All Right Here, but that doesn't come without its problems, even if they are minor.
"Less Like Scars" is the upbeat opener reminiscent of that of Sarah Masen but suffers ever so slightly from a maybe too melancholic vocal delivery. While she breathes more life into the chorus than the almost-spoken intro, the song just barely misses being the irresistible song it could be. Groves shines brightest when she passionately belts out her choruses but sadly tends to drag during her more lackluster deliveries. Stories seem to be what Groves is about most, but her word choices don't always seem fitting and seem more amateurish and less poetic despite her notable efforts. The romantic innocence and simplicity of "Fly" is one of the highlights of All Right Here while the acoustic twangs of the worshipful "You Did That For Me" are reminiscent of early Steven Curtis Chapman. The title track is an upbeat organ-flavored tune spewing Groves' honesty towards her human frailties and natural inability to easily forgive and forget, but remembers her strength to overcome hardships comes from above. Groves shines once again on the more delicate "Remember Surrender" when she abandons the more conversational approach for more tender vocals.
All Right Here is a strong step for the young and talented Sara Groves. While the album includes some memorable moments, I eagerly anticipate Groves stretching her delicate vocals for future projects. Her voice is too restrained at times and she utilizes her more apathetic deliveries a little too often. However, All Right Here still a worthy acoustic pop recording and a great sophomore record for Groves.- Review date: 8/1/02, written by J.D.
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