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Sierra Swan
Ladyland
Interscope Records
www.sierraswan.com


Sierra Swan is the daughter of Billy Swan, who had a pop hit with "I Can Help" way back in 1974. But while her dad's music can best be characterized as neo-rockabilly, the younger Swan leans toward the serious singer/songwriter end of the musical spectrum.

One of her primary artistic models is Aimee Man, who co-wrote and sings on "Get Down to It." But unfortunately, this track sounds the other way around - as if Swan is actually singing with Mann on one of her CDs. If this were the only track where Swan seemed to be Zelig-ing somebody else's art it wouldn't be such a bad thing. But it happens again with "Lucky Scar," which already has a bad-pun-for-a-title strike against it. This time, Swan sings it in K.D. Lang's languid, faux-western style. And even though Lang didn't come along for this particular cowgirl ride, it sure plays out like a track by that angel with a lariat. Swan is a little too close to her idols for comfort.

Swan saves the best for last with "Mother." It's about a mother who dies (Swan's mom, perhaps?), where the singer wonders aloud if this parent is sitting up there with Jesus, Joseph, and Mary. It's not clear if Swan share's this woman's faith, but it's a moving track nonetheless.

Obviously, Interscope believes in Swan big time because Linda Perry's name is all over this disc's credits. In the past, Perry has also helped write for and/or produce high profile gals such as Gwen Stefani, Pink, and Christina Aguilera. But whether her songs are piano-driven ("Dr. Loverboy"), string-propelled ("The Ladder"), or rocking ("Shakedown"), Swan's unique voice never quite emerges out of the mix.

To borrow the name of a soft drink, the real Sierra is sadly missed here.

-Dan MacIntosh

Track Listing:
2. Don't Say
1. Copper Red
3. Get Down to It
4. Dr. Loverboy
5. The Ladder
6. Ladyland
7. Trouble Is
8. Lucky Scar
9. Shakedown
10. Just Tell Me
11. Mother

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