I saw Sheridan perform live in Manchester late last year and have been waiting for the album ever since Ė here it is at last. Called Broken Toy, the album is an excellent mix of rocky, up-tempo tracks interspersed with some really catchy, heart-felt ballads. This makes a nice change after hearing a lot of albums from long-established singers recently in which every track sounds the same (whatís happened to variety guys?).
Based upon my current obsession with playing this album, I have no choice but to award it the highest 5 rating.
Anyway, Broken Toy opens with three pretty strong, straight-up rocks songs. Let The Performance Begin leads in with some evocative lyrics and a powerful chorus (a feature of much of the album), setting the tone for the follow-on tracks, Changing My Mind and Finding My Soul. The more haunting delivery of Eyes Open Wide, which turns out to be a great sing-along type of track, takes you into the first ballad, Mama (a very sad song).
The middle part of the album then becomes an interesting blend of slightly differing styles, shifting the mood. I was again struck by how varied the tracks are yet they still hang together well in terms of overall style.
The album title track, Broken Toy, is one of the real stand-outs for me, a slow tempo song that is extremely well constructed. This is a great set-up for the final two tracks, When It Rains, with itís memorable guitar riff, and All Through The Lonely Night, another one of those powerful rock ballads.
To summarise, I think this is a superb first album from a very talented singer. Sheridan writes her own songs and delivers them in a distinctive style. There are a number of really strong tracks on the album that draw you in. Part of the appeal also rests in the musicianship that is of a very high standard. Some of the guitar-work in particular, is superb.
For those of you looking for a new and interesting sound, this CD should appeal. The last album that really got my attention the way this one has was Alanis Morisetteís Jagged Little Pill. As with Broken Toy, the attraction was the strong melodies and powerful, catchy lyrics.
Highlight tracks (my must-hear, most repeated selection):
Let The Performance Begin
Changing My Mind
Finding My Soul
Story Of My Life
All Through The Lonely Night
I donít know how widespread the distribution is yet but I got my copy direct from the singerís website, www.sheridanrocks.com. That site has samples of each track so you can try before you buy (something else I like).