Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review: The Blessed Unrest by Sara Bareilles


Track Listing: 
1. Brave
2. Chasing the Sun
3. Hercules
4. Manhattan
5. Satellite Call
6. Little Black Dress
7. Cassiopeia
8. 1000 Times
9. I Choose You
10. Eden
11. Islands
12. December



I'm not-so-secretly in love with and jealous of Sara Bareilles and her musical abilities (including songwriting). This album just reinforces that fact. 

I have to admit that part of the reason that it's taken me this long to review the album is a) because of what I stated above, b) I had a hard time working through my thoughts at first (just see below), and c) it's the kind of album that took me some time to really get into and love.

The first time I heard the entire album, it was on Spotify with the commentary by Sara. While I think you should definitely do this at some point, I think that listening to the album in such a way broke the flow and made it harder for me to get into the songs. I loved the first half(ish) of the album the first time around, but the last few songs just weren't working out for me. I loved the lyrics and the musicality, but it didn't stick with me. But I stuck it out and kept listening to it with the commentary.

That's when I had my breakthrough, and I just listened to the album straight. (Why I hadn't thought of that earlier I don't know.) And it completely different. I could focus on the songs, and I finally got those last few songs. (I think Eden is the only one that I'm still really iffy on.) And it was then that I fell in love with this album. There was a flow in the music and there was a similar sound to the tracks, but not in a way that made them all sound the same. There was just this common thread. And that was wonderful to finally hear/get. (I particularly found "I Choose You" interesting from a songwriting perspective because she doesn't make it cliche (like I would).)

But wow, that was hardly a review. Okay. I continue to love Sara's work. Yeah, I find some of this a bit hard to get into the first few times around, but I think that's part of the reason I love it so much now. I get it now, and I really like it. As always, the lyrics are fantastic. Sara is an amazing singer-songwriter, and this album only supports that. I loved listening to her commentary (especially that one tidbit about the ending of "Manhattan"). But even without that, you can hear how personal these songs are to her. And you feel it in the music. Great music makes you feel something, and The Blessed Unrest definitely does that. There's also no doubt that Sara's a great singer so of course that aspect of the album is great. But I think the best thing about her is her ability to weave words and melodies together. She really did that so well here, and everything just worked. (Again, except maybe Eden...I still feel a bit iffy on that song.) I think this album has some of my favorite songs of hers and for good reason.

You should definitely listen to the album, although I suggest listening to it straight through first before listening to it with the commentary! If you already loved her, I have no doubt that you'll love this album. And if you haven't listened to her at all yet, you should get a move on!

Rating: 5/5
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You can find Sara on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and her official website.
You can buy The Blessed Unrest on iTunes, Amazon, her website, Barnes and Noble, and wherever else you can buy music.

(Note: I am sincerely sorry at this lame excuse of a review.)
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