Riskier Sound Accompanies Sarah Kelly's "Today"

Artist:  Sarah Kelly
Title:  "Where the Past Meets Today"
Label:  Gotee Records

If you've seen the movie "Gladiator," you're probably familiar with the following quote:  "What we do in life echoes in eternity."

That quote eventually became the movie's tagline largely due to the catchiness of it but it also holds some profound truth. The actions we take in this life certainly affect our eternal standing, but we don't necessarily have to wait until then to realize that our actions shape our lives. Even what seem like the smallest of choices we make now can affect change on the rest of our days.

This is a concept that Sarah Kelly wrestles with on her sophomore release, "Where the Past Meets Today." The album offers eleven songs that deal with how past decisions have led to the situations in which we currently find ourselves. Many times this realization leads to regret as we think back to past events and wish we could change the outcome, but Kelly offers message of hope despite these occasions as well. "Hold on Love" and "The Beauty of It All" both remind listeners that it's never too late to begin again and shape a different future than we may be currently heading towards. The downside of picking such a familiar and well-explored theme, many of the songs and lyrics feel overly familiar and commonplace.

When Sarah Kelly debuted on Gotee Records a few years back, not many people knew how to classify her, musically. There was some rock elements to the album, but it was mostly mid-tempo ballads and the lyrics were certainly written with worship in mind. "Where the Past Meets Today" takes no chances at reproducing that conundrum. The album is distinctly a rock album complete with raw guitars and vocals. In fact the production quality is such that it sounds almost like a garage band from the '90s at times, which is both good and bad. Kelly's vocals are certainly a feature that will draw an audience in, but at times they can be overwhelming and even slightly irritating. Some highlights on the album include "Between the Lines" and "The Beauty of It All."

Clearly Sarah Kelly has taken some steps to define herself as an artist and performer. With a riskier sound and a reckless abandon, listeners will likely admire her courage, but they might not embrace her music. "When the Past Meets Today" proves to be an acquired taste that will leave you with mixed emotions. It's a bold rock effort that is worth checking out if that's your cup of tea.

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