Friday, July 06, 2007

Record Review: Sara Bareilles "Little Voice"

It's been a month and a half since I reviewed one of my new records, so I thought I'd hit you with some Sara B. Who is Sara Bareilles you ask. And how do you pronounce her name? Well, as for the latter it is Bar-rell-Is, but the former is a bit harder of a question for me to answer. Luckily, She does a great job of it her self either through her self updated web site or MySpace page, but mostly through her music.

I first heard about Sara from a Friend back in early '05. Her music was featured in a movie called "Girl Play" which is a true story about two stage actresses who fall for one another during the production of a play that calls on them to portray lovers. After seeing the Movie for myself I also noticed that her music jumped right out of my speakers and grabbed me. She has the most beautiful and smooth voice you can imagine and she's an above average piano player as well.

Once I had picked up a copy of her independent first record "Careful Confessions" I was blown away by her work. Her song writing is powerful and evocative, and easily related to. Her bluesy style, added to her fantastic range made for a gripping listening experience. The rawness of her indie produced record (which featured 4 tracks recorded live at a club) was all at once refreshing and showed promise for the future. My only worry was that some pop producer would get ahold of Sara B and turn her into a Britney/Jessica.

I had nothing to worry about, however, as the new record does the songs fantastic credit. There are 6 tracks (One Sweet Love, Come Round Soon, Love on the Rocks, City, Fairytale, and Gravity) that were on the old record, but all have a new flair to them. The 6 new tracks speak well of Sara's growth as both a song writer and a singer.

The first single, Love Song, is bound to be a hit. It succeeds in being easy to relate to despite the obvious singer/songwriter centric approach. "I'm not gonna write you a love song, because you asked for it..." not many of us have been asked to write a love song, but we all know the feeling. Almost everyone has felt put upon by a lover, and this song gets those feelings across very well.

The second track on the record joins the litany of songs written about Las Vegas. However, on Vegas Sara craftily paints a picture of throwing caution to the wind and taking a chance, which after all is what Sin City is all about. "I'm gonna sell my car and go to Vegas, cause somebody told me that's where dreams would be." she starts adding later "No fame no money, I'm nobody, The way I'm running has sure got me down on my knees. Next stop, Vegas Please."

Following on the heals of Love Song about relationships, Vegas about aspirational abandon is Bottle It Up which is a song of empowerment that flies in the face of the feminist subversion being undertaken by most female artists these days. It has a catchy tempo, but no drum machine or guest appearance by a rapper, so I don't know how popular it will be, but if you have a teen daughter, or son for that matter, make them listen to the positive message contained. "Only one good thing worth tryin' to be, and it's Love" Sara sings as an answer to the song's opening statement: "There'll be girls across the nation that'll eat this up. 'babe, I know it's your soul, but could you bottle it up?'"

The rest of the album is also pure gold, and should be among the top of the records I count in the TGWOOfY 50 for 2007. If you have some time to kill, you should head over to Sara's web site or MySpace which I provided links to above. Or just go to YouTube and put her name in and watch her at the piano; pouring her soul into the Mic. She's everything we should want out of a popular musician, and "Little Voice" is some damn good work out of her.

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