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CD REVIEW: Sara Bareilles - "Careful Confessions"
By Gian F - 07/20/2005 - 03:22 AM EDT

Artist: Sara Bareilles
Album: "Careful Confessions:
CD Review: Genre: Adult Alternative
Sounds Like: India Arie/Lauryn Hill/K.D. Lang
Technical Grade: 10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10
Commercial Value: 10
Overall Talent Level: 10
Songwriting Skills: 10
Performance Skill: 10
Best Songs: Responsible, One Sweet Love, Undertow, Gravity, Love On The Rocks
Weakness: None
CD Review: In the 15 years in which I have worked in the music industry, I have only come across a handful of female artists who have all of the requirements for success (songs, talent, drive, confidence) and intangibles (identity, personality, emotional appeal, looks) that Sara Bareilles does. She is a singer/songwriter/musician from LA, a graduate of UCLA's Communication Studies Department and she is, in a word, phenomenal. Here's what she has been up to since graduating:

-Performing consistently at shows, festivals in the LA area
-Opened for Maroon 5
-Generated significant street and industry buzz
-Received positive press in newspapers and trade publications
-Voted as an artist favorite on MTV's Advance Warning
-Landed a spot on Music Connection's Hot 100 Unsigned Artists
-Showcased at the South By Southwest Music Festival
-Placed songs in film ("Monster In Law") and television ("Missing")
-Received a record deal from Epic

Her current project, "Careful Confessions," which was recorded as a "demo" in 2003, is what she sent to me. Since the word "demo" is short for demonstration, I will testify with my industry ears, insight, and experience, that it clearly and effectively demonstrates the depth of her talents, the width of her skills, and the range of her performance capabilities. All of her influences - Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones, Fionna Apple, and Alicia Keys - would applaud her accomplishments.

When she sings, you literally feel that she is letting you into her soul...exposing you to a kaleidoscope of emotions that she generates by playing piano, unleashing her evocative vocals, or by executing her mesmerizing arrangements. She sings with force and with gentleness - without ever losing conviction, as evidenced in her most commercial/radio friendly tracks, "One Sweet Love," and "Responsible," which is reminiscent of one of the greatest and most underrated songwriters in the business, K.D. Lang. Her "demo" doesn't merely display her immense talents, it also displays her acute awareness of what publishers look for in a song, fans enjoy in a performance, and the industry looks for in a recording. Yes, she has it all, and she generously gives it to you on this incredible project that she refers to as a "demo."

My careful confession is that I think Sara is abundantly qualified to be a tremendous success, if not a music legend.

Advice: Don't be concerned with what happens now that you have recording contract. There will be A LOT that's not in your control - focus on what you can control. Stay true to you and commit to your creative and professional growth. You will be fine.

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