The Anchor & The Sail
Nashville-based roots pop artist, Jessica Campbell strikes metaphorical gold with her sophomore album, The Anchor & The Sail (For the record, we hope she strikes real gold as well, we just find it less likely). Having recently signed a publishing deal with the MWS Group, owned by critically-acclaimed Christian music legend Michael W. Smith, Campbell seems to be firing on all cylinders. Honestly, one listen to this album and you’ll certainly agree.
Campbell’s voice has a very Nashville flare to it, but it mostly reminds me a lot of a more soulful Leigh Nash (Sixpence None the Richer). It suits the music perfectly, falling somewhere between pop and singer/songwriter, but managing to keep a really wonderful energy level (which is where so many indie artists fail- keeping the listeners attention is hard!).
The title track is the undisputed highlight here. It’s got some programmed drums, a nice piano riff, and a reservedly explosive chorus but all the pieces know their role, letting Campbell’s moving voice lead. The song instantly draws you in and the music is just dynamic enough to keep you all in throughout the song. “Be Happy” is another highlight here for me, but for entirely different reasons, it brings that Sixpence None the Ricker feel full tilt and accentuates it’s gentle groove with a banjo, giving it a rootsier feel than you’d expect given many of the other songs. “Gone” is another excellent moment. It feels a bit like Paula Cole without being anywhere near as pushy and the guitar solo is frickin’ amazing. Completely killer tones.
Overall, Jessica Campbell proves herself a force with The Anchor & The Sail. The album is near perfect from start to finish. It’s incredibly dynamic but never in wild ways that might alienate you, instead it’s a great ride that proves people still make albums that should be listened to from start to finish.
Reviewed by Mark Fisher