Already a veteran of the Music Row wars, Aussie singer/songwriter SherriÉ Austin resurfaces on Broken Bow as a more focused, mature artist without sacrificing her trademark spunk and style.

Already a veteran of the Music Row wars, Aussie singer/songwriter Sherrié Austin resurfaces on Broken Bow as a more focused, mature artist without sacrificing her trademark spunk and style. Dennis Linde's "Singin' to the Scarecrow" is powerful in Austin's hands, and spritely banjo melds effectively with syncopated synth pads on "Small Town Boy." Austin's pop sensibilities are intact on such cuts as the perky "Drivin' Into the Sun," new wave-hued "I'm Still Fallin' " and piano-based ballad "Fools Like Us." Austin also sounds great when production is toned down, as on "Ride 'em Cowgirl," the wounded "Remind Me" and soulful "Love Unafraid." Rambeaux's production is gutsy and sure, and Austin is confident and strong throughout; "Like a Cat" is a prime example of their synergy as collaborators. The title cut is the kind of tearjerker that a country audience would absolutely embrace if given half a chance; indeed, there are plenty of solid enough singles here to bring both the label and Austin success.—RW

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