released Sept 7th, 2010
from the album - King Of Anything
A gifted songwriter and a versatile pianist with no formal training, Sara Bareilles burst onto the pop scene with a naturally skilled voice that ranged from powerful and soulful to sweet and gentle, earning her instant comparisons to Fiona Apple and Norah Jones. At age 18, she left the Redwood forests of her hometown, Eureka, CA, in pursuit of a music career in Los Angeles. Although she attended UCLA's Communication Studies program, Bareilles spent the majority of her spare time studying her new environment and writing poetry and songs about the busy surroundings.
After graduation, she spent the next three years performing her songs at open-mic nights, slowly building her confidence as a musician before graduating to local clubs and festivals. In 2003, she co-produced her first demo, Careful Confessions, and became enthralled with recording techniques. Eager to go back to the studio and create a second full-length album, she started shopping her CD around and signed a deal with Epic Records in April 2005. Producer Eric Rosse took her under his wing the following February and the two spent a little over a year perfecting the orchestration — nearly half of the songs had formerly appeared on Careful Confessions, and a new batch of tracks was carefully constructed in order to make her first major-label release as strong as possible. The lyrical themes of the album, entitled Little Voice and released in July 2007, covered her past relationships, insecurities, and inner battles with trying to trust her instincts. The single "Love Song," after being promoted by both iTunes and Rhapsody, made the album a hit; both single and album reached the Top Ten, with "Love Song" eventually selling more than three million copies.
With a hit album on her hands, Bareilles hit the road and toured heavily for the next two years, releasing a concert album (Between the Lines: Sara Bareilles Live at the Fillmore) along the way. Playing her songs night after night inspired her to begin writing new material, and Bareilles found herself drawn to material that was bigger, bolder, and peppier than the songs that comprised Little Voice. The result was Kaleidescope Heart, which marked her second major-label effort upon its release in mid-2010.
Opening with an airy a cappella title track, Kaleidoscope Heart takes greater sonic risks than Little Voice largely because Sara Bareilles can afford these left turns: she has a big pop hit underneath her belt, so she aims to buttress her artistic reputation. Bareilles hasn’t turned into Joanna Newsom overnight — she remains steeped in the ‘70s, building her melodies around loping piano progressions, draping even her sprightlier moments in strings — but there’s a greater variety of textures here along with stark melancholy undercurrents on her ballads, particularly the closing pair “Breathe Again” and “Blue Bird.” She executes this contemplation well but her strength remains elongated melodies so well crafted and memorable they seem familiar upon first listen. Despite lushly detailed arrangements, Bareilles never pushes this distinctly commercial gift too hard, letting the songs flow easily and this gentleness is almost as appealing as those classically constructed melodies, tunes so softly insistent they could conceivably appear on adult contemporary charts anytime from 1971 to 2010. Because Bareilles is so naturally commercial, it’s easy to dismiss these gifts but her effortless music should not be taken for granted; it’s tough to write tunes that play this easy that wind up enduring, and Bareilles has now done that two albums in a row, which is pretty impressive.
1 Kaleidoscope Heart Bareilles 1:01
2 Uncharted Bareilles 3:34
3 Gonna Get Over You Bareilles, Farrar 4:16
4 Hold My Heart Bareilles 4:32
5 King of Anything Bareilles 3:27
6 Say You're Sorry Bareilles 3:41
7 The Light Bareilles 4:22
8 Basket Case Bareilles 4:11
9 Let the Rain Bareilles 3:39
10 Machine Gun Bareilles 4:08
11 Not Alone Bareilles 3:42
12 Breathe Again Bareilles 4:58
13 Bluebird Bareilles 4:04