Inspiring on her own terms

Inspiring on her own terms

When she released Love Song in 2007, American singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles made waves in the music industry - by refusing to bow to the pressures of record executives and critics and write what they said she should write, she produced a three-time platinum single on her own terms.

Her follow-up, Kaleidoscope Heart, features more of her heartfelt lyrics, hummable melodies and unexpected phrasing. This is the kind of album which seems to have a track to suit your mood, whatever you're feeling, with a great blend of up and downtempo, and myriad genres. The variety of styles suggests Bareille has been influenced by everything from 1920s, Minnie the Moocher-style jazz (Not Alone) and R'n'B (Hold My Heart) to Sarah McLachlan (Breathe Again) and Neil Diamond (Basket Case).

Up for the Best Female Pop Vocal Perfomance Grammy, lead single King of Anything is akin to Love Song - a sort of kiss-off to the person who insists on being right. It's an inspiring, anthemic track for anyone who's ever been shot down, only to think of a pithy comeback hours later.

Gonna Get Over You is the ultimate break-up song - rather than wallowing in self-pity, the singer accepts that it's going to take a while, but she's going to "be all right - just not tonight/ But someday", set against an insanely upbeat doo-wop piano.

There may be moments of melancholy in Kaleidoscope Heart, but ultimately it is a soaring, rousing collection that deserves every award and tribute thrown at it.

YP rating: 5/5

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