Not to be confused with the popular author of the same name, Sarah Dooley is a New York City-based singer/songwriter who plays piano. She debuts with her first full-length, Stupid Things.

The title track opens the record on a humorous note; “Stupid Things” is about how being young can be an excuse for displaying inexperienced behavior and is full of witty lines like, “Why do adults lie to little kids when they’re walking home from school/Do they know that in 10-years they’ll be peeing in a strangers pool.” Dooley’s commentary on the song is complemented by a bright and bouncy rhythm that indicates she’s having fun, which is not always the case on Stupid Things.

Dooley has a voice that, while strong at times, can also perfectly portray fragility, and she’s often firmly in lonely-girl territory here, as on the delicate “Peonies” and especially on the hopeful “Gym Looks Nice.” On the latter, she sings about how expectations for a clumsy but rewarding prom night (“We’ll make out in your brother’s car…”) are experienced only as a wish.

The one real departure from her typical sound here is “I Shook Hands with the Devil,” a blues-y number where Dooley portrays a woman scorned by an ex-lover, sounding a lot like Tori Amos.
 
Grade: B