Deep Album Cuts Vol. 48: Sara Bareilles

Last year I wrote 'a defense of Sara Bareilles,' to examine and explain both my enjoyment of her music, and her unlikely and much-maligned Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. She's the kind of odd mainstream underdog that I like to champion in this series. And it seemed like a good time to take a look at her deep cuts: she just published a memoir, Sounds Like Me (I haven't read it, although here's an excerpt), and next month she's releasing What's Inside: Songs From Waitress. The latter features songs she's written for a Broadway-bound stage musical based on the 2007 film Waitress. I love that movie, and the single "She Used To Be Mine" is a real tearjerker, so I'm pretty curious about this whole project.

Sara Bareilles Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist): 

1. Little Black Dress
2. Love On The Rocks
3. Fairytale
4. Machine Gun
5. One Sweet Love
6. Lie To Me
7. Kaleidoscope Heart
8. Eden
9. Winter Song with Ingrid Michaelson
10. December
11. Come Round Soon
12. Sweet As Whole
13. Let The Rain
14. Hercules
15. Many The Miles
16. Red
17. Basket Case
18. City
19. Once Upon Another Time

Tracks 2 and 16 from Careful Confessions (2003)
Tracks 3, 5, 11, 15 and 18 from Little Voice (2007)
Track 9 from The Hotel Cafe Presents Winter Songs (2008)
Tracks 4, 7, 13 and 17 from Kaleidoscope Heart (2010)
Tracks 6, 12 and 19 from Once Upon Another Time EP (2012)
Tracks 1, 8, 10 and 14 from The Blessed Unrest (2013)

She's only released 3 major albums so far, but there's a lot of good stuff on each of them. And there's also her indie debut Careful Confessions, which features a few songs that were re-recorded for her mainstream breakthrough Little Voice, and a few that weren't. "Love On The Rocks" is the one song on both albums where I vastly preferred the low budget early version, there's just something about that "Bennie And The Jets" groove that sounds better in that one.

Once Upon Another Time is an interesting stopgap release, 5 songs produced by Ben Folds that were a little less marketable than the big Grammy-nominated album she released soon after. "Sweet As Whole" features more swear words than the rest of the Bareilles catalog combined several times over, but it's really grown on me as a pretty clever, well written song. And the mostly a cappella title track has an eerie beauty to it. Also eerily beautiful: "Winter Song," a one-off duet for a compilation that became a chart hit in Ireland and was sampled by Kanye for a beat on John Legend's last album.

I always thought Bareilles has a lot of great singles, and it's a shame that she's relatively unknown outside of "Love Song" and "Brave." But I'm really impressed at how consistent her records are, a lot of these songs, especially "Little Black Dress," easily could've been singles. And there's some interesting choices like the time signature on "Let The Rain," or the weird trippy vocal layering in "Eden," that really make me wonder what she'd be capable of outside of the straightforward piano pop format, great as she is at it.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Vol. 24: Foo Fighters
Vol. 25: Counting Crows
Vol. 26: T.I.
Vol. 27: Jackson Browne
Vol. 28: Usher
Vol. 29: Mary J. Blige
Vol. 30: The Black Crowes
Vol. 31: Ne-Yo
Vol. 32: Blink-182
Vol. 33: One Direction
Vol. 34: Kelly Clarkson
Vol. 35: The B-52's
Vol. 36: Ludacris
Vol. 37: They Might Be Giants
Vol. 38: T-Pain
Vol. 39: Snoop Dogg
Vol. 40: Ciara
Vol. 41: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Vol. 42: Dwight Yoakam
Vol. 43: Demi Lovato
Vol. 44: Prince
Vol. 45: Duran Duran
Vol. 46: Rihanna
Vol. 47: Janet Jackson
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