Review: Sara Petite Takes an Assertive Stance

Sara Petite/The Empress/Forty Below Records/JTM Music
3.5 Out of Five Stars

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Despite all the implications her unique surname may suggest, Sara Petite has always been a major player. With her new album, decidedly dubbed The Empress, that point is made clear. Dynamic and distinctive, it finds her drive and determination firmly at the fore, conveying clear confidence and the decided influences inherited from her heroines and forebears —Loretta Lynne, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Emmylou Harris, and any number of other women who made a mark in what was once considered a man’s realm entirely.

That unflinching attitude is evident throughout, and on songs such as “She Comes Undone,” “I Want You So Bad,” “Lead the Parade,” “Le Petit Saboteur” and the title track she comes across with a bold and brash approach that’s as confident as it is compelling. The Empress reigns over realms that mostly rely on a classic country sound, with a honky-tonk sound that manages to find a compatible connection with her own independent approach. There are quieter moments to be sure—as evidenced by the track titled “The Mistress” in particular where the sympathy shared with the woman at the center of the song still manages to inspire an unrepressed emotion. 

Ultimately, The Empress provides a decidedly compelling set of songs, one that conveys assurance and engagement in equal measure. 

Petite has presence, and with The Empress, she starts a striking new chapter in her career, one that finds her making music compatible with a full feminist stance. That said, it can’t be construed as political posturing. It’s merely a statement and a sound that asserts both her independence and her acumen. To put it simply, The Empress rules in a way that defines her domain. 

Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

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