Over the last few years, music lovers have really had the chance to see the versatility that Sarah McLeod has had as a musician. Of course, many would know her as the lead singer of one of Australia’s finest rock bands: The Superjesus. But the last few years have seen her tackle everything from dance music right through to barbershop (on her 96% Love Song Book). Now McLeod is back with her second solo album: a smooth rock album that makes me want to use that old clichéd description of a feel-good rock album.
Now, normally I would never use the term ‘feel-good’ to describe an album, but that is exactly what McLeod’s Rocky’s Diner album is. It’s not only a celebration of McLeod’s songwriting skills but is also the kind of album that you could put on when you are down in the dumps and instantly feel better… and even inspired.
McLeod mixes and matches her styles of rock throughout the album from the driving rock of “Giants” through to the bluesy rock sound of “No One Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye” which really showcases that brilliant vocal range of McLeod. The largely acoustic “Northern Lights” has a hint of early Tegan And Sarah about it, as does “Rocky’s Diner”, which also feels a little Spazzies influenced as well. And yes, Superjesus fans, you are absolutely going to love “My Imagination” which captures that classic sound so well.
The big thing on show here though is the songwriting abilities of McLeod. From the beautiful love song that is “Hurricane”, through to the very from-the-heart “Black Sheep” to “Wild Hearts.” The latter is a moody rock song that tells in a story in the same way that a Paul Kelly track would. It’s just one of those tracks that you want to listen to over and over and could very well be the Aussie rock track of 2017.
The beauty of Rocky’s Diner is very, very rare, it is a songwriting masterpiece, and one again reminds the world what a talented musician Sarah McLeod is. This is a must have album for lovers of Aussie rock.