Sara Bareilles - The Blessed Unrest (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
THE fourth album from Sara Bareilles is a consistently engaging listen that underlines the diversity of this talented singer-songwriter.
Admittedly, The Blessed Unrest deals in broad strokes, delivering many tracks that can best be described as ‘soundtrack friendly’. But she knows what she’s doing and is in complete control of her craft.
Hence, bombastic opener Brave is alive with bouncing piano melodies and big choruses designed to make you feel good from the off, while Chasing The Sun is full of pounding drum beats, another highly anthemic chorus and more sweeping sentiments.
At the other end of the scale comes the moody piano ballad Manhattan, which paints a vivid picture of the city she loves, or the hypnotic album closer December, which arrives with as wintry a backdrop as its name suggests.
Elsewhere, there’s a sharp sense of longing and aching romance on 1000 Times (another piano ballad that’s evocatively delivered), and stylish atmospherics on Satellite Call, in which Bareilles adopts a more echoed, even ethereal vocal style reminiscent of Annie Lennox as well as more moody piano.
And then there’s the retro soul-pop of Little Black Dress, which is playfully flirtatious, bright and breezy and laced with sharp stabs of brass and toe-tapping melodies.
Bareilles says of the album herself: “The Blessed Unrest is my third full-length release, recorded over the last 6 months and mostly written within the past year of my life. Last year was a transformative year for me personally, and I’m currently reeling from and revelling in the new.”
Fans and newcomers alike will doubtless just be revelling in the enjoyment this collection of songs offers.
Download picks: Brave, Chasing The Sun, Cassiopeia, 1000 Times, Manhattan, Little Black Dress