Sarah Slean,
(self-produced, 1998)

A darling of the Toronto club scene, singer-songwriter and pianist Sarah Slean most reminds me of a cross between Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos, with just a touch of Ani DiFranco thrown in for good measure. Her songs are unabashedly political. Universe was originally a six-song tape demo; word of mouth translated into more sales and the tape was burned onto CD.

Slean's songs, like the original artwork that adorns the CD inserts, are dark and politically strident. In "I Know," Slean expresses her horror at the exploitation of women in the sex trade. "Angel" is a treatise on television and the commercialization of religion and faith. She switches gears for a story about a relationship: "It doesn't matter where you ought to be -- how you get there's the thing."

Slean is finding her place among other great Canadian singer-songwriters. There is no place, yet, where she ought to be -- she's on her way there, wherever "there" is.

[ by Rachel Jagt ]
Rambles: 25 August 2001