Tuesday, November 02, 2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Sara Bareilles' "Kaleidoscope Heart"

It's been three years since Sara Bareilles's hit single "Love Song" hit the airwaves, adding the perfect romantic pop song to our summer playlists. Her sophomore album Little Voice was chocked full of soul-bearing, well-written songs that really set the tone for the type of artist she intended on being.

Three years later, she's still a lyrical dynamo, as is proven by the two singles ("King of Anything" and "Uncharted") she's released off her new album Kaleidoscope Heart. My favorite of the two, "King," has a funny part where she delivers the final F-U to the egotistical jerk she's singing to by mockingly saying, "Let me hold your crown, babe." Relax, Bareilles' heart hasn't hardened. Her skills at writing hypnotizing romantic songs is still intact. A perfect example of that is "The Light." She has an incredible way of making you feel the anguish and the turmoil within her voice.

Another reason I love her is that she's never been shy about speaking her mind through song. Her last album was filled with messages about the music industry, her ambition, and self-destructive love. What I liked about this album is her effort to try new sounds. Not as to sound like a completely different genre, but to try different ways of creating beats. My favorite example of this is "Let the Rain." There's an entrancing clapping rhythm that starts at 2:40 that really emphasizes the urgency of her desire to be free to tell the truth:

Her best vocals are on "Machine Gun," which isn't as morbid as the title suggests. It's really just a metaphor for the intensity of which someone can attack you emotionally. I love it for the chorus. She really belts it out.

All in all, for a third album, it's not bad. I find that I gobble up a new artist's first commercial album flaws-and-all because I'm eager to get to know them. Then after a few years of replaying their freshman tracks, I consume their second commercial album with a more critical ear. So this album isn't worse than her last, it's just another footnote in her career—a career that, considering how talented she is, will last a long time.

No comments:

Post a Comment