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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Sarah Brendel

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Jul
Sarah Brendel
Sounds like … a folk/rock blend influenced by the likes of Larry Norman and Bob Dylan, but with the vocals and underlying electronic elements of The Benjamin GateAt a glance … after making a name for herself in Germany's mainstream, Brendel crafts a seeker-friendly record with her distinctive vocals and out-of-the-box arrangementsTrack ListingCommodityFireTurnBreathing InKing I LoveCatherine WheelPardon MeConfusedBabel TowersNo More

The name Sarah Brendel may be new to America, but the singer/songwriter has already found fame in her home country of Germany. Not only respected in Christian circles, but in mainstream as well with singles, soundtrack spots, a song on her country's All Star Project, and a stadium performance before 100,000 people. All of that attention caught the eye of overseas labels like Inpop, which signed Brendel as another member of its already international roster.

Brendel's self-titled debut makes it easy to see why she's landed on everyone's radar. Though influenced by the likes of Larry Norman and Bob Dylan, this tunesmith adds rock and/or electronica to those legends' folk leanings. On the electronica-laced opener "Commodity," with its danceable beats and impassioned vocals, Brendel recalls The Benjamin Gate. The guitar-driven "Fire" recalls the early days of Plumb or the tougher tones of Sixpence None the Richer. "Confused" reinstates the electronic edge, while filtering Brendel's vocals through an intriguing box of distortion.???

As a songwriter, Brendel also connects through her openness about personal problems and about reaching out to the needy. "Catherine Wheel" traces examples of divine love while debunking claims that a relationship with God is based on rules and strictness. "Turn" challenges Christians to embrace each other—faults and all—without putting on false faces. The Job-styled story of "Babel Towers," encouraging a real life friend who's lost everything, is the record's greatest testament to faith. Between those moving tales, the atmospheric musical accompaniment and her celebrated background, Brendel is poised to fare well in America.

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