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Gravity Love

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Album Review

Gravity Love not only serves as the album's title but also as a good way to describe Sandra McCracken's songs. The weight of love and the pull of emotions resonate throughout her tunes, be it physical, platonic, or spiritual love. A songwriter in the confessional vein, McCracken states in "Doubt" "speak it plain or leave it out," but she actually balances from-the-heart sentiments with vividly turned phrases nicely. "Innocence, we pass it down/Like corduroys with the knees worn out" articulates her love woes in a keen and imaginatively observed way, in "Long Way Away." Later on, in "Traincar," she uses the phrase "hot water screaming over the silence of my house" to describe the loneliness that comes after a relationship ends. Her songwriting restraint is readily apparent in "Goodbye George," her tribute to the George Harrison. Instead of a flowery eulogy to her late idol, she uses Harrison's lyrics and life history to create a cleverly constructed pastiche that conveys her sense of loss over his death. McCracken's work displays a Midwesterner's sense of modesty, so it's not surprising that the Nashville-based performer was born in Missouri. Missouri is also Sheryl Crow's home state and McCracken's eminently catchy "Head Over Heel" sounds like something Crow could easily have a hit with. This engaging disc opener gets followed by several other lively, melodic guitar-based numbers. The middle of the album grows a bit quiet as she slows down the pace. She does occasionally spice up her relatively unadorned folk-pop arrangements. A French accordion fuels "Traincar." A mandolin complements the social commentary in "Broken Cup." A Moog and harmonium bring a haunting quality to religious-themed "Shelter"; however, the song still doesn't quite achieve the thoroughly transcendent sound that Daniel Lanois achieved on Emmylou Harris' Wrecking Ball. This is not to diminish what McCracken has accomplished here. Her range of talent might be best seen on the two tunes that close the album. "Chattanooga," a terrific slice of Americana rock, precedes the spare and moving evocation of love and devotion, "All the Miles." Gravity Love establishes Sandra McCracken as a singer/songwriter on the rise.

Customer Reviews

incredible talent, beautiful voice

What a gift this girl has! You will not be disappointed by this. Sandra is an amazing musician, songwriter and singer. She makes me want to visit the places she has been, to further experience the things she wirtes about. "shelter" brought me to tears, and "portadown station" brings out a longing in me to travel to places i haven't been. "all the miles" is incredible, too. Ok, i love it all. She is amazing.

gravity lovely

Sandra McCracken's record, Gravity | Love puts on a clinic about the beauty of language. It does not use any out of this world images to create interest or feeling. It does not rely on ambient musical arrangements to pull you in. It uses very real, honest, everyday images to reveal heartache, struggle, love, joy. While Sandra's use of lyric is as strong as ever, this record is strong on all points. Arrangements are rootsy and very real and Sandra's vocal has never sounded better. The album flows extremely well, with its climax found in the song Portadown Station. This particular one pulls you gently into its grasp with the simple piano & strings arrangement and finally releases you from its clutches so you can sigh. I've listened to this song several times, and I have yet to finish without being fully engaged emotionally. A song-writer has achieved something when you transported into another world with the use of simple music and rather simple lyrics. You will get the same feeling from the track All The Miles. Listening to this song alone makes it worth the price of the whole album. Sandra has a way with words that removes all surprise that her husband's writing has gotten consistently better and better. Gravity | Love is a collision of emotion and is a demonstration why Sandra used to be known as Nashville's "best kept secret." While no longer a secret, she's definitely one of the best. You will not regret your purchase.

Exceptional Release from Talented Artist

My wife and I were fortunate enough to pick up the CD at a show in Georgia. I've enjoyed all of her previous releases but this one tops them. If you enjoyed her previous albums you will not be disappointed. And if you get a chance to see her live be sure to take advantage of the opportunity. Standouts include "Broken Cup", "Chattanooga", "Gravity", and "Goodbye George", a great tribute to George Harrison. Don't waste anymore time reading this, click on the tracks to listen.


Born: June 16, 1977

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Sandra McCracken is a contemporary singer/songwriter who navigates among folk, religious, and adult alternative material. Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri and eventually relocating to Nashville, Tennessee, she pursued a career in music after graduating from Belmont University in the late '90s. McCracken made her recording debut in 2000 with the alternative folk album The Crucible, and subtly expanded her palette with electric guitars and fuller drums on 2001's Gypsy Flat Road and 2004's Best Laid...
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