REVIEW: Sarah Borges’ “Love’s Middle Name” Will Rock Your Heartache Away


Fans of Americana music generally appreciate emotional honesty and lyrical complexity, and they also appreciate the most perfect hooky licks and melodies that won’t leave your mind even if you wanted them to– and you don’t. But not all musicians can capture both of these elements. So when an album comes along that has both these qualities, it’s reason to stand up and take notice.  Sarah Borges’ Love’s Middle Name, out today on Blue Corn Music, achieves this rare balance: exciting bold rock music supporting emotionally genuine lyrics. Produced by Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, this album features Sarah Borges on guitars and vocals, Eric Ambel on guitars, keys and vocals, with Binky on bass, and Phil Cimino and Ed Arnold sharing drum beats.

In today’s musical world, women, even in the quality niches of Americana, tend to rely somewhat on a certain style of lyrics and vocals prominent in the mix. So when a dirty-toned collection of rock music like Sarah Borges’ Love’s Middle Name, which is not your average musical accompaniment to that style, crosses our paths, it’s unique in that respect too. This album is bold electric guitars and rhythms. But Borges didn’t throw the baby out with the bath water; the album is full of lyrical tales of struggling characters wrestling with low self esteem, abuse, pill addictions, falling for the wrong person, lost love, and struggling with powerlessness in the face of the political.

There’s “Oh Victoria,” a letter written to a suicide victim: “we are all sad souls just trying to get out,”  and “House on a Hill” is a story of reluctance and avoidance in a relationship gone south.  And there’s a cover of Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay’s “Are You Still Takin’ Them Pills,” and a macabre “Headed Down” where a woman plots a sinister murder-revenge in the woods just in time for the ongoing #MeToo movement.

“Get as Gone Can Get” is a fast paced duet with Borges and Ambel trading vocals in a frenetic whirlwind romance set to heavy rock rhythms that ends by a husband knockin’ on the door, shotgun in hand. We premiered this one here if you’d like to take a listen: Listen: Song Premiere of Sarah Borges “Get As Gone Can Get” from Upcoming Album “Love’s Middle Name”.

“Grow Wings” was co-written with Boston folk songwriter Sean Staples, and was written in the aftermath of the Women’s March in January 2017.  Lines like “I’m caught between fighter and victim, I just want somewhere to be”  and “You said you’d take the tired, but what about the poor?” drive home anxious political realities.

“Let Me Try It” is a twisted number about, as Borges says, “a person with low self esteem acting with complete confidence,” and is a twisted relationship story set to the catchiest rock music ever — co-written with Eric “Roscoe” Ambel.   Read the rest of our interview with Sarah Borges here, to learn more about what she has to say: Interview: Sarah Borges on Album “Love’s Middle Name,” Emotional Vulnerability Wrapped in a Rock ‘n Roll Package

This album will musically rock your world and have you shaking your booty while causing you to wipe away tears all in the same whirlwind of motion.  Loud, dirty guitar tones and catchy musical hooks are peppered through the project from one end to the other. In today’s world where music is treated like a commodity to be consumed and then discarded, it’s frankly refreshing to see an album produced with skill, by someone with decades of training and the ear that comes with that — not rigged together in a home studio, and not overdone, either. The result is something built to last.  Cover art by Tony Fitzpatrick (Steve Earle) completes the package. Get your copy here:

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