Tuesday, November 02, 2010
ALBUM REVIEW: Sara Bareilles' "Kaleidoscope Heart"
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.