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Daybreak

43 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 8, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Sierra Hull releases her third album, Daybreak on Rounder Records. Due March 8, the album was produced by Union Station bassist Barry Bales and features 12 songs 7 of which were written by Hull. Mandolinist Chris Thile (Nickel Creek, Punch Brothers) had this to say about Daybreak: Sierra's extraordinary ear and innate musicality are well-evidenced by this, her second LP. It's a joy to hear her realizing her seemingly limitless potential. One of the most respected artists in the new school of bluegrass, Hull has received 5 IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) nominations in the past 3 years and is the first bluegrass musician to receive Berklee School of Music's prestigious Presidential Scholarship.


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 8, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • ASIN: B004K7M6X8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,430 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Yap TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 9, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Prime Cuts: Daybreak, Best Buy, Wouldn't Matter to Me

It would be criminal to ignore Hull's sophomore effort "Daybreak." This is an indispensable landmark disc as far as the genre of progressive bluegrass is concerned. While many of Hull's peers are entrenched in the latest beat and trends, the 19 year-old Hull has gone for the heart and her roots. As a result she has made bluegrass palatable, rejuvenating and youthful again. Comparisons with Alison Krauss are inevitable as both divalets are from the same recording imprint, the inexorable Rounder Records. Vocally both of them are close cousins with Hull having Krauss' crystalline clarity as well as her controlled modulation that brings a sparkling purity to these songs. Further, both of them have great veneration for tradition rooting the backings of their songs in the rustic riffs of the banjo, fiddles, steel and acoustic guitar. Just like Krauss, Hull has taken John Pennell's (a Krauss favourite writer) "Don't Pick Me Up" as well as contributing 7 songs of her own.

Relative to her debut "Secrets," Hull has grown in her song writing by leaps and bounds. Most evident is her poignant title track "Daybreak." Bathed in a tear stained delivery, this spiritual nod to God in the face of pain is one of the most beautiful ballads written by Hull ever. Though nothing can top the title cut "Daybreak," "Tell Me Tomorrow" a deprecating denial piece with Hull begging her no-good dud not to tell her about their impending break-up until tomorrow. And we all know how she wished tomorrow would not come. Such lyrical subtlety and maturity certainly belies Hull's youthfulness. Hull certainly stretches herself stylistically with the western swing "Best Buy.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Marc Cabir Davis on March 14, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This sophomore disc by Sierra Hull is a vast improvement over her debut disc. Of course, with the amount of recognition shes getting this time around, a lot of listeners have mistakenly attributed this to be her first outing (which was actually 2008's "Secrets"). That album was six years in the making, recorded since Hull was 13, and the results - while interesting - were definitely not what would make one reach for the repeat button. Things take a turn for the better on "Daybreak", which should cement her position as a tour de force on the country/bluegrass music scene.

Initial impressions are that this is a fine mix between the sounds of Alison Krauss and Union Station, with a lot more mandolin thrown in. Indeed, Hull's voice has all the affectations of a younger Krauss, and has a honey-drenched sweetness about her that is hard not to find endearing. I first discovered Hull through Wildy's World, an online resource that made it a point to source out and review upcoming artists. When they gave "Daybreak" the unique tag of being one of the few 'desert island' discs in existence, one had to take note. And while it most certainly is perhaps one of the best country albums released in 2011, its classic status is debatable as (at the time of writing) it remains a relatively new release.

The interesting thing about this record is that even though its most obviously not a Christian or religious record, there are certain gospel elements here and there that actually work (without being too obvious about it). The instrumentation, vocalization, and some of the lyrics are subtle in what they imply - and this is a good thing as it opens the record up to very different audiences.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paul S. Wilson on March 16, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very good stuff!

I really enjoyed every cut on the album.
Sierra's musicianship is unquestioned, and it shines endlessly.

But her vocals are improving with maturity, the fine harmonies notwithstanding.

The sky is absolutely the limit for this emerging artist. Who knows how high she can soar at the rate she is going.

While yes, this is bluegrass music, any number of the songs have a very contemporary feel to them and come off more modern than traditional, even though the instruments themselves are all traditional accoustic.

A fine effort, worth many hearings.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rufus T. on June 7, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Sierra's debut Secrets (2008) gave the world notice of a new, amazingly talented mandolin picker on the Americana scene. Her musicianship was front & center on almost all the tracks. For this second album Daybreak, recorded 3 years later (and older) at age 18, Sierra has put songwriting and singing to the fore, and has grown tremendously in both categories. (I don't know how her mando playing can possibly get better.) Her voice has matured and employs more feeling and nuance (with just a light touch of vibrato) in her delivery. She also contributed 7 originals out of 12 tracks, a big step from just 3 on Secrets. There are two obligatory uptempo instrumentals which showcase her incredible dexterity and fluid style on mandolin, and one old-time Gospel number with a deep bass harmony by co-producer Barry Bales (of AKUS). The subject matter of the lyrics don't stray outside the traditional bluegrass/country milieu (heartbreak, romance, faith etc.), but the arrangements are more contemporary and modern than Bill Monroe or the Osborne Brothers (though nowhere near Punch Brothers territory). Many listeners draw comparisons to a young Alison Krauss, which isn't too far off the mark, especially considering her musical pedigree and background. But whereas AKUS has steered more into acoustic country/folk (or whatever genre they call it) lately, Hull's roots are still firmly planted in the bluegrass garden. Over time, she may branch out and cross over, but meanwhile her albums represent fine examples of the genre.
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