Music

Sara Watkins - "Young in All the Wrong Ways" (Singles Going Steady)

Photo: Maarten Deboer

"Young in All the Wrong Ways" showcases Sara Watkins sinewy, up-from-the-toes wail and knack for writing songs suffused with heart-wrenching sincerity.

Jonathan Frahm: Perhaps it was the new set of experiences with I'm With Her last year that invigorated something new in her, but no matter the case, something about Watkins is coming across as that much more confident in her own bones -- and, henceforth, that much more compelling. Being first recognized as one of bluegrass' prodigal daughters, she handles herself incredibly well on the more rock-based instrumentation of her past couple of singles leading into her latest full-length. Despite the electrified arrangement, her vocals are still set right at the center of this track, and you can altogether feel the bittersweet nature of the song's lyric in her earnest delivery. The various natural sets in the music video offer more than enough lush imagery to assist in driving this one home. [8/10]

Pryor Stroud: A country-folk stomper filled with raw, roots-rock energy and lacerating dynamics, "Young in All the Wrong Ways" showcases Sara Watkins sinewy, up-from-the-toes wail and knack for writing songs suffused with heart-wrenching sincerity. "You remind me of the girl I was / When I was young in all the wrong ways," she sings in the chorus, but then she launches into the next verse without a second thought, her fists clenched, her feet firmly planted in the earth beneath her, and it becomes clear that this isn't a song about regretting your past romantic mistakes, but avowing them, owning up to them, and ultimately moving on. [7/10]

Chris Ingalls: Like her previous single, “Move Me", Watkins combines a smart, wordy, hook-stuffed composition with some fresh, exciting production. Loud, crisp drums mix with rootsy instrumentation, resulting in a track that sounds both classic and new. Watkins is a revelation here, deserving of comparisons to artists like Jenny Lewis and Neko Case. This song makes me want to listen to everything Watkins has ever recorded. [9/10]

Chad Miller: Passionate track which is greatly assisted by Watkins' emotive vocals. The chorus is especially great here, containing a bunch of exciting twists and turns. The switch from the chorus to the verse doesn't seem to work as well though, draining the track of some of its energy. [7/10]

SCORE: 7.75

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