CD Review: Sara Bareilles, The Blessed Unrest

I'm usually not much for singer-songwriters, but Sara Bareilles has really won me over. The Blessed Unrest is her strongest album yet, with moments of beautiful sadness and clear determination. The way she sings "so fill up your lungs and just run" on "Chasing The Sun" makes you feel like you could actually run for miles. "Manhattan" is a gorgeous tribute to love lost, filled with vivid imagery. "I'll gather up / the avenues / and leave them on your doorstep. I'll tiptoe away / so you won't have to say / you heard me leave." It's her "Someone Like You" and it's just as showstopping.

"Satellite Call" is another standout. There's a clear Enya influence in the echoes. It seems to create an entire landscape within itself, roaming all over the night sky. The song that left its mark the most was "Islands," especially the chorus. "It's like I'm standing on the edge / of just a telephone wire / trying to get to you first / to say the world's on fire." It evokes the awful fear of rushing to save someone you love, heart in throat. It's an album about reaching out to other people to show them that they're not alone, and also to prove it to yourself. It's about the frustration of having plenty of ambition and nowhere to drive it. It's about running away before the clock runs out.

There is no one answer, no way to put an end to the frustration for good. But if you try hard enough, you can at least gain some solid ground. It's brave to embrace an imperfect solution when it seems easier to just keep searching. Her message is clear; the time is now, you alone can make it or break it.

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