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Sally Cooper's EP
Image © 1996 Midnight Publishing

Sally Cooper's DAM
Image © 2000 Sally Cooper

Image © 2000 Sally Cooper

(16 July 2000) The self-titled debut EP from Sally Cooper contains four tracks that illustrate the depth and range of this Austrailian singer songwriter. Cooper performs lead and backing vocals and is supported by Rex Goh (guitar), Richard Melick (keyboards and backing vocals), Victor Rounds (bass), Chad Wackerman (drums) and Tony Azzopardi (percussion).

From her mp3.com summary, "[Sally Cooper presents] a sultry, soulful style and [with her 14-track Digital Audio Music compact disc from mp3.com -- reviewed below] offers a sensational collection of universally appealing, cleverly crafted and catchy songs. Each tells its own unique tumultuous tale of love's endeavours. The tunes here are Sally's best, each unique in their own "hit written all over it" quality."

"Sally sings in a way that extracts an abundance of emotion with each phrase and nuance. Refreshingly sweet, passionate, and honest, you'll want to take the time to delight your senses as she delivers her tunes with an alternation of warm dulcet tones and soaring vocals." We especially enjoyed both instrumental and vocal excursions. The lead is sensuallly sung, and evocative especially when she soars above the otherwise lush instrumental arrangements.

We were amazed with the richness of the production quality on the EP—it is first class all the way and shares its style with work of Madonna and big name artists operating on that level. Keyboards, guitars and percussion are all perfectly arranged and balanced against Sally's powerful, evocative and sultry voice.

"Love I Feel" is a gently rocking Madonna-like tune, with several spoken segments between the lush harmonies of the chorus. Sally Cooper's power is immediately evident within the track despite the richness of the instrumental arrangements. "Make You Mine" is a lovely ballad sung sweetly and sensually over the lightest instrumentation except during the instrumental bridge where Rex Goh's guitar riffs dominate the sound. "Never Too Late" is an upbeat dance-oriented tune with a lovely lead vocal that soars above the R&B instrumental arrangement. The EP concludes with a lively bluesy tune entitled "Turn Around" that shows Sally at her sultriest. Vocal production on the last two tracks is notch and illustrates Cooper's power and range.

(31 July 2000) The Sally Cooper Album. A soulful selection of pop, R&B and alternative tunes are presented by Australian songstress Sally Cooper on her self-titled Digital Audio Music (D.A.M.) CD (mp3.com (USA) 21425, 2000). The CD has both full fidelity CD audio and mp3 versions of the 14 tracks on it; the mp3 versions play through software contained on the CD when used on a computer. The four tracks on the EP reviewed above are also contained on the D.A.M. In addition to performing as a solo artist, she is the driving force behind The Sally Cooper Band and has worked supporting well known musicians such as Frank Zappa, Madonna, Barbara Streisand, Jenny Morris, Daryl Braithwaite and Marcia Tunes.

Empassioned tales of love's warmth and consequence are delivered through each of the tracks on the album. With varied vocals and catchy beats, each song captures the mood perfectly. "Soon Enough," the first track sets the pace. With a Madonna-like vocal and strong beat, the song reall brings out what Sally can do. "Love I Feel" is more upbeat track. The vocals are more spoken than sung, however, when the singing appears you just want to hum to this catchy song. "Never Too Late" offers more of an R&B best to it whilst bringing out the strong emotion within the vocal part and beat of the song.

"Only Lonely People Can Play," a strong love-oriented ballad, really shows the soulful music that can be produced through the magnificient vocals of Sally Cooper just the same as in "Make You Mine," a more upbeat ballad. "Turn Around," is more in the alternative style, as is "Divinity." "Answer In The Wind" seems to be a track of its own. While soulful like "Only Lonely People Can Play," the crystalline vocals and light piano instrumentation drive one to listen to the words and focus on the meaning of the track. The tender ballad "Love Me" is produced in a similar style.

"Hear What You Say" combines a light classical vocal part with country rhythms to create an easy listening light rock sound. "He Takes His Time" really delves deep into an honest feeling of love that Sally felt when writing this song. This soulful, beautiful track leads right into a more upbeat song, "Tell Me Tenderly," a song of wanting love. While "Skies Are Sometimes Blue" illustrates the lighter version of love in a ballad style, "Like A Child" presents an upbeat version of the strong emotion of love.

Further information, mp3 downloads and links are available at Sally's mp3.com website; you can also order from a range of three EPs for $5.99 as well as the 14-track Digital Audio Music CD reviewed above for only $10.00 there. A wonderful introduction to a well established Southeast Asia-based artist, we found her full length DAM CD delightful and certainly a very nice listen!—Deborah J Elliot

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