Sara Niemietz

REVIEW: Sara Niemietz “Superman”


Sara Niemietz – Superman

With a voice possessed of the intonation & tonality that’s soulfully enticing & attractive as Toni Childs (“I’ve Got To Go Now” & “The Woman’s Boat”), Sara Niemietz adds a little more funk to “Locks,” the opening cut on her fourth 14-cut, 54-minute CD Superman (Drops Oct 28-Independent). Produced by Sara with Linda Taylor (guitars).

“I Want You” – is filled with precision, character & energic presence. Sara achieves a somewhat primal scream John Lennon so famously utilized in his solo “Mother,” which was marvelously painful & intense.

Sarah covers typically contemporary issues with varied styles others before tackled. What makes Sara Niemietz an interesting listen is her ability to sing her lyrics (“Tip Toe”) & add some vocal mannerisms like a painter spreading a watercolor brush to initiate the proper hues. Modern singers dismiss what intonation is, as well as, those original grunts, ahs & woos that accentuate a word or line to make it not sentences with a melody but something that makes it sung. Elvis got it, Sinatra has it, Janis Joplin got it. Sara does it admirably.


She has an easily accessible voice. It teases at cocktail lounge jazz elevations (“Lovely Lies”) but her healthiest component is how she twists & shapes words with a prodigious amount of character & range. There’s a theatrical show tune confidence. She isn’t brash as Billie Holiday but does possess a sometimes popish delight & instinct of Bernadette Peters (“Gee Whiz”), the urgency & vibrato of pop-singer turned Broadway vocalist Helen Schneider & the powerful Annie Golden when she sang with Golden-Carrillo (“A Fire In New Town” & “White Picket Fence”).

Songs rely on a more soulful soft focus — a bit repetitious, then she enlightens with a middle-of-the-road ballad with ethereal splashes (“Four Walls”) capturing a good atmosphere. The songs touch upon vulnerability, empowerment & shaking off the past by finding inner confidence, a voice within yourself you can trust.

Because Sara has a reliable broad vocal torque the sugary numbers are kept afloat through her individualistic prowess. There are sprinklings of Chaka Khan, Mary Wells scattered about. Sara draws from a pool deeper than most. Her voice switches in “Names,” to a basically seductive blues narrative ala Sly & the Family Stone spirit & arrangement.

In a more Mavis Staples temper “Keep An Eye,” is a stand-out. “Words,” is in a cool jazzy Julie Driscoll-Tippet showcase. On “The Dimming” it’s a clever combination of Minnie Riperton & Phoebe Snow vocalese but executed with finesse. Impressive.

All delectable interpretations of varied genres. If it were the 60s Sara would have been signed by Motown. Why? Because Sarah imbues her songs with a natural soulful presence.

Highlights – “Locks,” “I Want You,” “Four Walls,” “Names,” “Words,” “Keep An Eye,” “GoodX3,” “Superman” & “Every Light.”

Musicians – Leo Costa (drums), Daniel Pearson (bass) & Ed Roth (keys).

Cover photo by Jeff Xander. CD @ Bandwear +

3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Sara Niemietz “Superman”

  1. Her name is spelled ‘Sara,’ not ‘Sarah,’ but otherwise a nice review. I am anxiously awaiting this super ‘Superman’ album!

  2. Also, in addition to doing the musical production on the album, Linda Taylor was a musician on it (guitar).

Leave a Reply!