Friday, June 10, 2011

Sarah Buxton – American Daughter

Why Isn’t This Girl More Famous?

The Inky Jukebox has a theory. It goes like this: if you have a horrible, awful photo of yourself on your album cover, people will not buy your record.

Take the case of Sarah Buxton. She is an unusually beautiful young singer with a smoky, husky distinctive voice from Kansas who has had a few singles which have not charted particularly well, but has written some songs which have been huge hits for others (particularly Keith Urban).

This is the cover of her CD.

Someone at her record label thought this was a good idea. That person needs to be fired. First off, the whole cutesy leaning-the-head-to-one-side pose makes her look like she’s 12 years old, or trying to appeal to 12 year-olds. It also makes one feel like they have a crick in their neck from trying to see her face the way God intended: straight up. When selling a beautiful woman, you want to go with smoking hot sexy, not aw-shucks. Then there is the hair: dark and scraggly. As we shall see, this is not always the case. The oversize slouchy sweater with (gasp) horizontal stripes (don’t these stylists know anything?) downplays her femininity and has been cut off at the wrist, leaving one to wonder what she’s doing with her hands. (She’s sort of perching them on her hips in the full photo.) She may not have boobs to speak of, and this sweater assures us of that, rather than casting doubt upon it. On top of all this is her name in hot pink (!) marker font, adding to the bubblegum image.

Listen up, Lyric Street Records: this is a girl you want to sell to dudes, not tweens. Any by dudes, The Inky Jukebox means women who want to live vicariously through her looks and voice to catch the attention of dudes. She is no longer paired up with Jedd Hughes, so she can be promoted as an individual.

Hire a photographer and stylist who can make her live up to her potential like this:

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are two huge reasons why The Inky Jukebox likes Sarah Buxton:

1) She co-wrote one of the best songs in recent years, “Stupid Boy,” recorded and made a chart-topping hit by Keith Urban. (Why is the official video not available on his YouTube channel? - Listen to this studio version instead.)

2) She wrote “American Daughters,” and sings it like this:

The studio version has the added benefit of fiddles and a recording treatment that punches up the vocal and instrumentation so that it appears the engineers have held back from the tremendous power emerging through their speakers. You can hear her totally break loose on the chorus such that her voice breaks. If you’re going to go for broke with a song, do it in a recording studio!

Country music loves nothing more than a song about how awesome it is to be an American, especially if it features a list of national landmarks. “American Daughters” was offered as a free taster from last year’s Country Throwdown tour. Lyric Street ought to release it as a single, re-design the package, and watch her take off.

You can check out more from Sarah Buxton on her YouTube channel 
or her MySpace page 

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