Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sara Bareilles - The Blessed Unrest

I like awards shows. It's part of my unhealthy affection for competition. If someone can win it, I'll watch it. I do also, from time to time, like music. Since Spotify came around, I've been trying to listen to all the Best Album Grammy nominees, so I can make an informed decision. This year I decided to post my thoughts about each one.

First up is the surprise dark horse, Sara Bareilles. She released her album, "The Blessed Unrest" almost a year ago, to middling reviews and semi-decent sales for someone who's had a few hits before. Steven Hyden from Grantland thinks she's got a legitimate shot at winning, mostly because her nomination was so unlikely; the voters must actually like the album.

Called The Blessed Unrest, the album certainly feels like it. There's not as much variety in the style and tone as I might have expected from such an inventive songwriter, but in the end it makes sense given the title. There is enough creativity in the midst of the mood to really spark an interest.

Halfway through I would have said it was "good, not great," but she does the idea of "concept" album proud. Some of the songs are very good - "I Choose You" is a fantastic little love song, albeit too short - those that are a bit short on lyrics have strong production and musicality, those with less than stellar melodies have strong writing. Everybody probably knows "Brave" by its cultural immersion, but the album ends on perhaps its best track. "December" is a song about life after tragedy or disappointment, encapsulated the idea of blessed unrest. It's really well done.

If The Blessed Unrest wins Best Album, I can see why. It's still a long shot, but I'm glad I took the time to give it a listen.

No comments: