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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Sara Bareilles bypasses potential sophomore slump, keeps things classic on Kaleidoscope

Thanks to the success of her 2007 single, ""Love Song,"" singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles has become known as the modern queen of the tell-off piano ballad, a genre she still has largely to herself. Much like the heyday of Vanessa Carlton, Bareilles can happily soak in the success she has created for herself. And fortunately, her second album, Kaleidoscope Heart, overcomes a potential sophomore slump and maintains her relevance in the pop music industry.  

 

Kaleidoscope Heart reveals the emotional side of the 30-year-old artist with songs that journal a break-up and firmly argue for feminist ideals. Although Bareilles takes a confessional approach, her warm alto voice and intricate piano arrangements strongly suggest a more conversational tone one that other songwriters should strive for. Her unique and fluid rhythm deserves a lot of respect.  

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Ballads like ""Hold My Heart"" allow Bareilles the opportunity to showcase her singing chops. She gets very honest with listeners, and comes off as a very skeptical person but still somehow yearns to believe in love and the perfect relationship. Ideal for any rainy movie scene, the smooth chords and tempo make the song one of the best on her new album.

 

""Breathe Again"" is a somber song chronicling Bareilles' decision to end her relationship.  The melody is as head strong as Bareilles herself, with punching drums and piano keys. Her guilt and hurt create an honest metaphor: ""Out of breath I'm left hoping someday I'll breathe again."" Impressively, even when heart-broken, she is focused on looking ahead instead of to the past.

""King of Anything"" is a certain radio hit and the 2.0 Version of ""Love Song."" It is another protest against commercialized pop sappiness with lots of sass. With straightforward lyrics like, ""Let me thank you for your time / And try not to waste anymore of mine,"" Bareilles makes it clear she does not need anyone to make her decisions for her. The accusing and fierce lyrics are cleverly backed up by hand claps and trumpets.

 

In ""Machine Gun,"" each clunk of the piano can be felt in the lowest chambers of the heart. It's another sharp-tongued reply to critics unjustly dishing out cruel words. Bareilles holds nothing back—lyrically or vocally—on the track.

 

The best song off the new record is ""Uncharted."" The strong piano and violin melody glues itself into your head.  The relatable lyrics tell of the transition into a new chapter of life and the fear and excitement associated with it.  The song is for the happy-go-lucky who embrace change.

""Gonna Get Over You"" sounds like a classic '60s hit, full of snaps, crooning and back-up dooh-dahs. The chorus carries the song, especially the lyrics ""I'll be alright /  Just not tonight."" Bareilles comes off as a jazz bar singer in this catchy and enticing tune.

 

After her first album, Bareilles faced the difficult task of maintaining her down-to-earth persona while securing her place in the spotlight. With Kaleidoscope Heart, she achieved the perfect balance. Already number one on the iTunes album list, music listeners seem to approve of her new work. Because of its catchy, rambunctious tunes and thought-provoking lyrics, it's clear Bareilles second album was well worth three years of wait.

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