on 15 February 2009
When I first downloaded this album, it has to be said, initially, it was from no great love for Sara Bareilles' music or singing voice. Instead, it was simply because of the fact that I couldn't get that infernal "Love Song" out of my head after hearing again and again on the music channels. So I downloaded it, listened to the track a few times, got bored of it, and there it sat, unlistened to, on my iPod for some time(partially due to the fact Vegas was the following track, which I never took to and is still my least favourite song on the album.)
Some months later I found myself listening to it again through shuffle,a pure accident, and was surprised to find myself actually enjoying listening to "Morningside." That led me onto the other tracks and a growing realisation that the album was nothing short of brilliant. Bareilles has something that I had never realised I'd been missing until I happened upon it. A beautiful, clear, awesome clarity of voice, tone, feeling; something, in short, of making the hearer feel privileged to listen to her. The words are clear(not screamed or distorted by sound technology),the instrumentals crisp and the message clear.
The lyrics are, as a bonus, refreshingly original and ring through heartfelt. So unlike some pop "music" of nowadays, where the same annoying sentiments are rehashed using the same annoying phrases and whining tones. They are also, to my suprise, funny, at times, thankfully not through their indeptness at conveying the sentiments behind them, but for the converse. One such example, that makes me chuckle every time, is in "Fairytale" -
"The tall blond lets out a sigh of despair,
says - "Would've cut it myself, if I knew men could climb hair"
Gotta find myself another tower somewhere,
Keep away from the window."
You can't fault her for not being original - that particular slant on Rapunzel amuses me to no end. That is but one example of this album's brilliance. There are many, reader. My recommendations as a favourite sad song (which, again, I was surprised by, as I loath sad songs) "Gravity" and as a happy one, aside from "Love Song", "Morningside." Both I loved, along with this entire album. Gravity remains my favourite.
I highly recommend this album, for not only all the above reasons, but also for the happy knowledge that it suprised me. I always think it's the best feeling in the world, being suprised by a piece of music. I was wrong about Sara Bareilles, and happily so. Her album has done more than prove me wrong, it has given me many hours of joy listening to it tell me how wrong I was.
I hope it will do the same for you.