SARAH DOOLEY – Stupid Things

Album: Stupid Things

Artist: Sarah Dooley

Label: self-released

Release Date: February 11, 2014

Sarah Dooley 2-11

www.sarahdooleymusic.com

 BY JOHN B. MOORE

 Sarah Dooley’s debut is more than a little reminiscent of the first Ben Folds Five record and not simply because both are piano-driven pop albums. But like Folds, Dooley has this striking ability to write quirky, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, ditties that flow out of the speakers effortlessly. The fact that not a single one of these songs can be branded with the tacky “novelty” label is impressive.

 Recorded entirely at Columbia University where Dooley was studying at the time, this self-released album has none of the hallmarks of an on-the-cheap DIY lark; the production is professional, the music often boarders on beautiful (thanks to brass and strings on a number of tracks) and Dooley sings with the confidence often lacking on first records.

 The subjects covered are pretty innocent, singing about high school dances (“Gym Looks Nice”) and being young and dumb (“Stupid Things”), but most of these themes are easily relatable regardless of your age and often sweet without being overly sentimental (“Shadows”).

 With Folds stuck judging TV realty shows and Randy Newman clearly an indentured servant to that rat over at Disney, churning out saccharine cartoon theme songs, it might finally be time for pass down the torch to someone like Dooley.

  DOWNLOAD: “Stupid Things,” “Gym Looks Nice” and “Shadows”

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