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For those who are about to discover Sara Bareilles's "Little voice" your in for a treat. This is the second album of this amazingly talented American pianist and the three times Grammy nominee. She is the author of the hit Love song which is a great anti-Valentine song and so very appropriate for playing on that day.
The album is a mix of life and love situations with soulish-pop piano tunes that really grow on you.
The Love song is the first one on the album and it's a very good introduction to the compilation:
'Im not gonna write you a love song 'cause you asked for it...'
Songs like "Bottle it up", "Come round soon" and "Many the miles" has sulky lyrics that make the songs a bit cynical but still pro-love.
'How far do I have to go to get to you, many the miles.... send me the miles, I'd be happy to'.
The perkiest song with Sara's brilliant piano performance is definitely "Fairytale" and it's about the boys being knights in shining armours only till they get the girl.
'Sleeping Beauty's in a foul mood, for shame she says:
None for you dear prince, I'm tired today,
I'd rather sleep my whole life away
than have you keep me from dreaming'
If you feel this album has a bit too many sugar free love songs "Gravity" will prove you Sara is a great love songs writer. Light and sad, it's a great closure to this album and will grow on you if you like piano and violins dueling.
The life-about songs such as "Vegas", "Morningside" and "Love on the rocks" sound similar to Tracy Chapman with a wittier twist.
'Gonna quit my job and move to New York
'Cause somebody told me that's where
Dreamers should go' - "Vegas"
For a love piano performance soulish pop album Little voices could make you sing all the songs in your own voice
I have only recently come across the music of Sara Bareilles, but as soon as I heard one song by her, ('Gravity'), I quickly downloaded her entire 'Little Voice' album, and I haven't regretted it; in fact, I've been playing it almost non stop ever since!
'Little Voice' is actually Sara's second album, but her first was self-released and is now out of print so you will probably struggle to get hold of a copy. 'Little Voice' was released in 2007 and contains the following songs, all of which were written by Sara:
1. Love Song
3. Bottle It Up
4. One Sweet Love
5. Come Round Soon
7. Between The Lines
8. Love On The Rocks
10. Many the Miles
Even if you're not aware of knowing Sara's music, you may well have heard her incredibly successful single 'Love Song', which won two Billboard Awards and two Grammys in 2008 and 2009.
It is this song which kicks off the album and is easily the catchiest and most instantly accessible track on the CD. The music is bouncy but the vocals are slightly sultry and husky and the lyrics are fiercely unconformist. A closer look at the lyrics reveals that it is a rebellion against her record company and an assertion that she will only write songs she believes in.
'Love Song' is an incredible song that is worth buying the album for and which will get stuck in your head for days after hearing it. However it is not the only good song on there. My other two favourites are 'Fairytale' and 'Gravity'.
'Fairytale' is a fiesty, inventive song with an angry edge to it which reminds me a lot of Fiona Apple. It's another song that's very catchy.
'Gravity' is in my opinion the best song of the album. It is a slow, heartbreaking ballad that reminds me of Sarah McLachlan but with more depth of voice to it. The lyrics are gorgeous and Sara's voice is really shown off.
The rest of the album is also good, with 'City' deserving a mention for being another lovely ballad. However it is really those three songs that stand out and many of the other tracks are a little bland in comparison. Nevertheless it is definitely a purchase that I would recommend.
The good news is that this album is available for £2.98 on Amazon.co.uk at the moment. Less than three pounds for such a brilliant CD is a bargain, so get buying!
For someone who considers themselves a discerning music lover, it can sometimes be embarrassing to admit that they actually enjoy an album that's been classified as being in the pop genre. This is mostly because the definition of pop music is catchy tunes and easily remembered lyrics, which usually means inane and simplistic. Still, not all pop is alike, and thankfully, Sara Bareilles' debut album "Little Voice" has much more going for it than the usual fare, no matter what genre is on the package.
The things that set Sara's music apart from the bubblegum singers are twofold - catchy tunes that have a jazz/blues influences, and intelligent lyrics that have twists to them. Take the lyrics in her singles, for instance. Both "Love Song" and "Bottle it up" have an edge to them. In the former, she says she's not going to write a love song if that's what's going to keep them from leaving her. In the latter, she actually makes fun of pop songs in the opening by saying "there are girls across the nation who will eat this up", and then puts an off-rhythm rap-like verse in the middle. By the way, apparently "Love Song" was written in response to her record company wanting her to write a hit tune! So there you go - a truly ironic song, because she didn't want to write a hit, and yet it was her first smash.
Even her quieter songs and ballads "Gravity", "City", "Between the Lines" and "One Sweet Love", Sara shines with particularly emotional lyrics combined with a strong piano accompaniment, into which she mixes some carefully controlled acoustic guitar. Of course, I find nothing more appealing than a good piano line in songs, and Sara gives us plenty of that, especially in these softer songs. This, along with her strong voice is something that puts her in a more sophisticated league than the usual pop singer/songwriters. And what a voice it is, with a rich lower register that can both growl and purr, plus an upper register that's never screechy, no matter if it's sweet or strong.
She can also go harsher with songs like "Vegas", which is probably the bluesiest of all the tracks here. That blues bit spills over into the still jazzy "Come 'Round Soon", which starts out and ends with her saying she could use another cigarette but "don't worry daddy, I'm not addicted yet". This song tells of a toxic relationship where she can't help wanting to see someone who obviously treats her badly, and when she belts out "who need angels, anyway" you can really feel her pain. Then she shows a lighter side of the blues with "Love on the Rocks" with a lighter sounding tune and lyrics that say "my friends say I look better without you". This problematic relationship also comes into another bluesy song "Morningside", which again showcases her piano ability, but is probably the most creative musically, with both key and tempo changes. Then she takes that blues and throws in a little gospel-like chorus with "Many the Miles". Talk about variety and creativity - there's nothing at all boring or monotone here.
Probably the best example of Sara's artistry (and my favourite song on the album) is her song "Fairytale", with its up-beat syncopated melody that tells its listeners that she doesn't "care for your fairytale love". Here Sara looks at whether four famous characters really did live "happily ever after". Using Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Rapunzel, Sara points out that life isn't perfect, even in fairytales, no matter how idyllic it might have seemed at the onset. As for the tune, while I consider myself fairly musical, and this song is terribly catchy, I also notice that without her behind me, I can't easily replicate this song. Moreover, she throws in her own jazzy riffs throughout the song, and then slows the tempo down for her conclusion of saying that these stories "need some mending and a better happy ending" because she doesn't want "your next best thing". I suggest you check out the YouTube video of an acoustic version of this song (link below) which is as equally great as the produced version on the album.
As you can see, there's little if anything wrong with this album, if you ask me, and the only reason why I can see it being classified as pop is because it's bound to be a truly popular album. Sara's voice has a gymnast's agility, while her songs equal that by ranging from graceful to bouncy to strong. Her lyrics are creative and thought provoking, sometimes bordering on the poetic, while other times being amusing (but never cutesy). The album as a whole is the type of thing you'll want to listen to if you're already in a good mood, just to keep it up. Of course, if you're a bit down, this album is sure to cheer you as well. In all, I'd say this is a truly great collection of songs. If this is the future of pop singer/songwriters, then I say bring them on. Sara Bareilles' debut "Little Voice" is a real winner, and gets a high recommendation and five out of five stars from me.
Thanks for reading!
Davida Chazan © July, 2009
Sara's official site can be found at www.sarabmusic.com and includes about all the information about Sara you could ever want to know. Many of the songs here also appeared on her previous, non-commercial album "Careful Confessions", which I can't find available anywhere for any reasonable price (I think people are considering it a collector's item), but the songs not here can be heard on-line at http://www.last.fm/music/Sara+Bareilles/Careful+Confessions.
That YouTube clip I mentioned can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqejXw4-4zE and I suggest you also look at some of the other acoustic and stripped versions of songs from this album - they're marvelous!
You can buy this new on Amazon for £4.98 or through their marketplace from £2.47, and I think you can also download the album as MP3s from the USA site.
For my pedants, here is the track listing from the album:
* Love Song
* Bottle It Up
* One Sweet Love
* Come Round Soon
* Between the Lines
* Love on the Rocks
* Many the Miles
I really didnt expect much when my girlfriend downloaded who i thought was going to be a one hit wonder. While here in England, she does appear to have fizzled out, i will always have some of her songs in my head to keep me going when im bored.
I think my favorite songs are the ones she has released "love song" and "Bottle it up". I think that Sara Bareilles seems sweet and like all her songs would be corny and predictable, but she suprised me. Even her song that was titles "love song" isn't about her love for someone in a corny way, shes refusing to write a love song, i enjoyed that all her songs were not 100% as they seemed, and some had a darker edge that people might expect. Her vocals are great on all the songs and her way with lyrics shines on some of the more meaningful songs.
While there are a few songs which i found a bit boring and maybe were what i imagined her whole album to be like, the songs that i found good, were very good indeed. There was a wide range of tracks and styles of music on the album which kept the album fresh and from becoming a typical female solo artist album.
I'd recommend this album to a variety of people, her downfall being that people will judge her before they give her a chance, and chances are a large variety of people who would enjoy her wouldn't bother to read this review in the first place!
Sara Bareilles is a 29 year old singer-songwriter and accomplished pianist from California. She hit the big time with her debut single "Love Song" which topped the US Billboard chart and got to number 4 in the UK- although with the amount of airplay it received you would think it would be higher!! The single was incidentally written about her record company, when they said her album didn't contain a good debut single and asked her to write a love song, so she did.... in a roundabout way!
The album, Little Voice made the top 10 in the UK and in my opinion is absolutely superb! I bought it on import and could not stop playing it when I first got it. I tend to prefer male vocalists and bands, but this album is really fantastic. A mixture of blues, folk, acoustic and pop combined with fantastic lyrics really make this album a stand out from last year.
The album starts off with Love Song, which is a great poppy song and is insanely catchy. However this is more than just a typical pop tune, as the lyrics are very clever. This is followed by Vegas, which is a slower tempo number, but really shows of the notes that Sara can hit with her fantastic voice.
Tracks three and four are Bottle It Up and One Sweet Love and although I consider these two the worst on the album, I still do not skip them when they come on, which I think says a lot about this album as a whole! Come Round Soon and Morningside follow and show off the quirky side to this musician, which I think sets her apart a little from others. Perhaps it is because at 29 she has more life experience and experience in the music industry, but whichever it is, it is proven in the versatility of the tracks on this album and the fact that her lyrics are so identifyable with.
Track 7, Between the Lines, is one of my favourites of the album.I have to say, I think the stripped back ballads (which this is one of) is where Sara really shines. Her voice is sweet yet really powerful and she really has an amazing range, something which is cleverly shown off in this song. A brief bluesy ode to alcohol follows in Love On The Rocks and then Sara excels herself again with City, which is about getting lost in the big wide world, something we all feel like sometimes. A really beautiful song, again showing off her fantastic range.
Track 10, Many the Miles is a bit more upbeat and then track 11 is Fairytale. This is a fairly fast paced song, probably my favourite of her faster numbers. I love the cynicism of this song, which is about growing up and realising there isnt a prince to take you away on his white horse- and even if there is, hes still a normal bloke at heart! Very cleverly written.
The final song of the album is Gravity, which is one of my favourite songs of all time. It is a truly stunning song, and seeing her perform it live (although sadly only on YouTube) made me love it even more. Another stripped back number, it is just the voice and the piano. She is actually releasing this as a single, which I cant help feel is a shame as I really dont want the song to become over exposed and one of those songs you get sick of hearing.
Overall I cant fault this album. It's possibly a bit girly as females will be able to identify with the lyrics more, but this should not stop the guys listening too. Her voice is stunning, her lyrics are witty and charming and the songs catchy. Definitely one to buy!! I hope she can continue her success on both sides of the Atlantic.
Sara Bareilles seems everywhere at the moment, and l can see why with this stunning album. Sara Bareilles has a beautiful voice, the songs are involving, relaxing and quite chilled. Love song has to be one of my favourites, but all the songs on the album are really good, and really impressed me. I got the album for my birthday, and have been listening to it lots since then, its such a beautiful album. She kind of reminds me of Nerina Pallot...
I shall be listening to the album lots more, and think that this album would appeal to a lot of music lovers. Sara Bareilles has a true talent that shows in this album. Id highly recommend you buy this album. All the songs are as good as the hit, and you will want to listen to the album more and more, l guarentee! Great Cd, l love it!
28 Year old California native Sara Bareilles started her music career at UCLA with Awaken A Capella. She started performing solo in 2002 in local bars and clubs and after recording a couple of demos in 2003 she signed a deal with Epic Records in 2005 and she then began writing a recording songs for what would be this album. She has toured with the likes of Paolo Nutini, Maroon 5 and even James Blunt (don't hold that against her).
Her music is a mix of soul, funk and pop rock which has been well received by music critics around the world. Her voice has been praised for it's natural tone and range. She has a voice to challenge many of the established new artists.
1 Love Song
The first single from the album, this song has become a huge hit and it's not hard to understand why when you have the combination of the infectious piano hook which is joined by an intensely catchy chorus. One of the great pop songs of the 21st century with a great message.
This has another piano part that is key to the song. This is about moving away to get away from your troubles, this is one of the most flowing songs on the album and the drums and piano hooks work really well together.
3 Bottle It Up
This funky Jazz tinged track shows the ability she has to adapt to different styles of music. A fine song with Sara in good voice and the music adding the right touch.
4 One Sweet Love
This takes the longest time to get going of any of the tracks on Little Voice but once her voice comes in your ears pick up as this gentle song starts to get into your head. A wonderful track with the right balance between her voice and the music.
5 Come Round Soon
This track has a more experimental feel than the other tracks on the album, A brilliant rock tinged pop ballad with some nice electronic sounds in the background. A very well worked song indeed. It Sounds wonderful too.
Another catchy track, the piano hooks are played like a dagger and the drum beat joins the party with some funky waawah guitar. One of the best uptempo tracks on the album.
7 Between The Lines
A slow ballad with a beautiful piano arrangement, her voice sounds expressive and tender. A really beautiful ballad which shows off her beautiful voice to great effect. This track wouid be a great live track.
8 Love On The Rocks
This track returns the album to a funky feel but still keeping the piano hooks and the expressive voice. Not quite the best on the album but still a very fine track indeed.
A wonderful slow piano led ballad which sounds like Sarah McLachlan at her best. She shows the piano is an extension of her expressive vocals. A truly breathtakingly beautiful track.
10 Many the Miles
This track has a soul feel with a brilliant piano intro and her vocals are again on top form. This is a wonderful soul ballad with some superb guitar parts. This has a great chorus which is easy to sing along to.
Once you hear the opening bars you would be fooled into thinking that it's a slow ballad on offer. What you get instead is an uptempo track with an incredibly catchy melody. Wonderfully Imaginative.
This is a stormingly beautiful piano led ballad to end the album. Her voice is superb on this track and she shows her versatility. A really beautiful end to a barnstormingly great album.
A wonderful debut album from a real talent who is set to have a huge career if she carries on producing music like this. One of my favourite new artists who I am thankful I took a chance on after the amazing debut single Love song.
Oh and she shares her birthday with me, 7th December.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Love Song
3 Bottle It Up
4 One Sweet Love
5 Come Round Soon
7 Between The Lines
8 Love On The Rocks
10 Many the Miles