Album Review: Sara Bareilles – The Blessed Unrest

“The very first words of a life-long love letter”

We’ve had a long-standing crush on Sara Bareilles since the precise moment she sweetly serenaded us with a little voice and a love song. She is the mother of heartbreaking hymns and upbeat first-love confessions, compositions that mold themselves into the exact shape of our souls. She is the author of exquisitely shaped poetic creations, the kind that stick to your insides like peanut butter. She’s the one we immediately turn to for that singular feeling of trust and comfort; the one who knows exactly what we’re going through.

Her music plays an integral part in our lives, able to yield a faultless relevancy most only strive for. Even now, as we begin to pick apart every soon-to-be-known tune, memorize each pristine lyric, we immediately start to pinpoint the places The Blessed Unrest will play as the soundtrack to our past and future memories.

The album unarguably introduces itself as another version of our favorite fedora-wearing songstress, though an expected evolution for Bareilles. With a clearly defined New York pride vibe, clichéd in a way, the combination of tried and tested hip-hop themes and classically used strains initially show signs of overuse. In all honesty, I wanted and believed we’d receive an album that resembled the gritty, powerful, and passionate style of Sara B’s preceding EP. Once Upon Another Time had been a needed, honest road that most of us have become quite attached to. Upon second glance, however, with every reintroduction I made, my fondness for The Blessed Unrest grew exponentially. Sara’s unique, individualistic techniques have been buried just beneath the surface of the featured tracks, not exactly hidden, but carefully and purposefully arranged for discovery.

There are several spots on the record where Sara’s signature piano-focused sound is missing. The melodies are more constructed and elaborate, with perfectly layered harmonies and intricate vocal tricks. Impressive falsettos and creative, contemporary orchestral refrains. But Sara’s spirit doesn’t get lost or trampled in this indescribable sea of more. Her voice is the strongest it’s ever been (and that’s saying something). She’s always on-point, always giving away a piece of herself in every love-prone strain. If there’s one thing S Bare knows how to do, it’s how to write a “I wanna cry my heart out and eat ten gallons of chocolate ice cream” ballad like nobody else. She searches and scratches our skin with the tips of her fingernails until she finds the most basic emotional reactions to gut us with.

A small dimly lit room beneath the streets of Manhattan, a smokey bar where the patrons gather nightly; a story of unrequited love playing softly in the background. Imagine the pain and loneliness so evident it takes all the air out of the room. Or a window-seat confession kept secret; a wish turned into 1000 whispers, 1000 Times. A track so perfect in every way possible it jumps into the palm of your hand and physically attacks you until you listen to it a thousand and one times. How about a song so otherworldly it ignites some lost fire inside you, begs you to shout “Cassiopeia” loudly and frequently into the heavens?

Sara’s unmatched ability to generate hundreds of multifaceted images, sounds, and emotions – like a kaleidoscope colored film strip – makes The Blessed Unrest a must-own record.

Album Rating: B+

Buy The Blessed Unrest on iTunes HERE

For more Sara Bareilles visit her Official Website

Have you listened to The Blessed Unrest? What did you think of the album? Which track was your favorite? How would you compare this record to the other albums in Sara’s catalogue? Did it live up to your expectations? Tell me in the comments!

For more Kim the FanGirl follow the blog on Twitter @kimthefangirl and on Facebook

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Emma says:

    “Stick to your insides like peanut butter” – you have a lovely way with words, lady. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I try. 😉

  2. Elle says:

    Haven’t listened to it yet (the Florence album too). I haven’t felt the vibe but I’m sure once I do I will be obsessed!!

    1. Oh, you’ll love it, absolutely. But let’s back it up here a bit. Which Florence album? Are you talking about Ceremonials? The Florence + The Machine album that came out in 2011????? YOU HAVEN’T LISTENED TO IT YET?? (Yes, this comment does call for shouty capitals) How . . . what . . . WHY??

      1. Elle says:

        Oops. My bad. I meant the song she did this year. Of course I listened to Ceremonials. We gushed together, I’m sure!

        1. Hahaha! Oh my God. You scared me there for a minute!

          Okay, I think you’re talking about “Over the Love,” which was on the Great Gatsby soundtrack. In that case, immediately drop what you’re doing and go take a listen. It’s decidedly epic. Of course, I say that about every Florence song. 😉

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