Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Angels Woman...Sara Bareilles

The Woman

Sara Bareilles
Little voice (2007)

I Proud To Recommended!!!*

Little Voice?

There’s more than a smidgen of visual irony adorning the cover of Sara Bareilles’ major label debut. With Bareilles’ face in soft focus, the image hones in on a small transistor radio she is holding in front of her mouth, inscribed with two labelmaker-made strips: “Little” and “Voice”. Will the tunes inside be whispered by a diminutive guitar-strumming waif and cradled in lo-fi production?

Nope, nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, Little Voice is comprised of 12 huge-sounding, vibrant, neatly-crafted songs performed by a singer-songwriter-pianist with a powerful voice that is well-versed in soul, rock, jazz, and pop. At the summation of these 49 minutes, it seems impossible that Bareilles has not had formal training in voice or piano.

Opener “Love Song” belies its pedestrian title, and chimes out four minutes of pop bliss perfect for summertime airwaves. As “Vegas” vamps its sultry vibe, Bareilles uses her voice to an entirely different effect and lyrically ponders fortune-seeking for something “bigger and better”. Indeed, from these first eight minutes of the album, it’s evident that Bareilles’ songs did deserve something “bigger and better”: this big-studio treatment, with multi-tracked vocals and a full sound.

Bareilles’ 2003 debut Careful Confessions, which she co-produced, showed the promise of a versatile new voice with lyrical prowess. Based on the album’s strength, she toured with Maroon 5 and Ben Folds, and attracted the attention of both a diehard fanbase and Epic Records. Little Voice is the result of Epic’s interest, and it reworks six of these previously-released songs to give them, well, an epic treatment. Both albums are wholly comprised of Bareilles’ own songs, which are full of memorable lyrics and sneaky melodies effortlessly executed by her exceptional vocal range.

There is, for example, “Come Round Soon”, a nuanced yet damnably catchy slice of blue-eyed soul, and “Between the Lines”, a tune that readily blurs the genres of pop and slow-burn soul. The funkily dazzling “Many the Miles” builds to a sing-along finale that benefits from the harmony vocals of Bareilles’ bandmates Josh Day and Javier Dunn. “City”, and, to a lesser extent, “Gravity”, are more stripped-down piano confessionals. If pressed, I’d predict that the anthemic “Morningside” will be the next single. Finally, if the sound of record crackles accompanied “Love on the Rocks”, you’d swear it was pulled from a dusty R&B singles vault. Bareilles keeps the palette structurally and sonically engaging with songs that feature multiple guitars, Mellotron, cello, strings, and, of course, her own bright and prominently-placed piano and Rhodes.

“Bottle it Up” opens with line “there’ll be girls across the nation / that’ll eat this up”. As a statement about Little Voice, it’s certainly true. But the album, despite its lyrical topics of love, relationships, and insecurities, is much more than ready-made music for “girls”. It has universal appeal for any lover of quality music. This album has already rocketed to the top of iTunes, and while Bareilles might, at the moment, be a relatively “little voice” in the global music marketplace, Little Voice proves that she won’t be there for long…

By Mark W. Adams


Sara Bareilles
kaleidoscope heart (2010)


In the age of auto-tune princesses like Lady GaGa and Ke$ha, Sara Bareilles is proof that real musicians still exist.

I started listening to her when I was a senior in college, during the Careful Confessions era, well before the ironically-named "Love Song" was even released. My roommate had gone to a Marc Broussard (who later opened up for her on the Little Voice tour) concert where she was the opening act. He brought her CD back to the apartment and I was hooked. Fortunately, songs from that album like "City," "Gravity," and "Fairytale" eventually made onto what is now referred to as her debut, Little Voice. By the way Sara, we're still waiting on "Red" to get that same treatment.

I've been a fan ever since and have been to two of her shows, one of which was on the Hotel Cafe tour with Ingrid Michaelson and Joshua Radin. As per usual when it comes to musicians or bands like her, I bought her latest album Kaleidoscope Heart before listening to hardly any more than the first single, "King of Anything," a song I immediately loved. And as per usual, my blind faith was rewarded.

For those expecting an album chock full of upbeat, stick-it-to-the-man anthems like "Love Song," you may be slightly disappointed. While songs like "Uncharted" and "King of Anything" make you want to dance like no one is watching, a large portion of the album is somewhat mellow and soulful.

The album opens with the virtually acapella title track, "Kaleidoscope Heart," which is basically a short intro to the album itself. The harmonies are rich and beautiful, but who would expect anything less? The title track is followed by "Uncharted," an upbeat song that makes a lyrical reference to the album's title. I expect this one to be a single at some point, following the success of "King of Anything."

The slower ones like "Hold my Heart," "The Light," "Basket Case," and "Breathe Again" have a raw and powerfully emotional force. "Not Alone" is bluesy, soulful track reminds me of her Careful Confessions days. But it is songs like "Gonna Get Over You," "Machine Gun," and "Say You're Sorry" that reinforce my theory that Sara Bareilles is this generation's female Billy Joel.

Diversity of style and quality of songwriting are the two major strengths that Bareilles has demonstrated throughout her career. Kaleidoscope Heart is certainly no exception. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a solid 9.


All about

Sara Bareilles

Eureka, California, United States (2002 – present)

Sara Beth Bareilles (born December 7, 1979) is a Grammy-nominated American and . Bareilles was born and raised in Eureka, California, United States.

After graduating from UCLA in 2002, Bareilles performed at local bars and clubs. She issued two demos of mostly live tracks in 2003: The First One in April and The Summer Sessions in October.

In January 2004, Bareilles released her first studio album, Careful Confessions. She signed a contract with Epic Records’ A&R executive Pete Giberga on April 15, 2005. The remainder of the year and early 2006 was spent writing and reworking songs for her upcoming album.

Her debut major-label album Little Voice came out on July 17, 2007.


Pic by Doobybrain




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1 comment:

Andy Rogers online music marketing said...

I so loved the songs of Sarah Bereilles. Her voice, her songs, I just love it all.