Circus Girl by Sherrié Austin

Eight years after petite Aussie Sherrié Austin’s last release, the singer best known for her 2003 hit “Streets of Heaven” returns with her most charming and personal collection yet. With this project, she forgoes the overly sentimental notions of romance so popular with today’s young radio listeners in favor of a mature woman’s perspective on heartache and flawed relationships.

She’s strong and sure in the passionately delivered anti-torch song “Get Your Leavin’ Done,” and sends a sassy warning to the “other woman” in “He’s All Yours,” saying, He’s your headache, your heartache, your problem, your mistake. Sherrié showcases her fine-tuned knack for turning a phrase on “I Didn’t,” in which she recounts all the little things that soured a once passionate relationship, singing, What finally tore our love apart / Was a matter of religion / He thought he was God / And I didn’t.

The female themes continue with “Friday Night Girls,” a tribute to ladies who spend the weekends searching for the right man, and the ballad “Sleep With Me,” bearing the inverse sentiment of Lee Ann Womack’s “I May Hate Myself in the Morning.” Sherrié closes the album with a newly recorded version of “Streets of Heaven,” and frequent songwriting partner Shane Stevens joins her for the Christmas-themed song “Naughty or Nice.”

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