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Chandelier
     

Chandelier

5.0 1
by Rachael Sage
 
Chandelier is Rachael Sage's eighth self-released album in the last 12 years, and in describing her, it seems necessary to fall back on comparisons with some of her contemporaries. With her piano-based pop
ock arrangements, over which she sings in an expressive, slightly throaty alto, she comes off as a cross between Tori Amos and

Overview

Chandelier is Rachael Sage's eighth self-released album in the last 12 years, and in describing her, it seems necessary to fall back on comparisons with some of her contemporaries. With her piano-based pop
ock arrangements, over which she sings in an expressive, slightly throaty alto, she comes off as a cross between Tori Amos and Jewel, with perhaps a hint of Ani DiFranco and, given the occasionally jazzy playing of her accompanists, perhaps a pinch of Norah Jones. By the time an artist has made eight albums, however, she isn't supposed to be reminding listeners so much of other artists, and that Sage still does is not just a function of a recording career conducted outside the mainstream labels (nobody mistakes DiFranco, also the proprietor of her own label, for anybody else), but also because her writing and performing, while ear-catching, are not sufficiently distinguished. One factor in going the independent route is a relative lack of feedback, which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on one's own rigorousness. Sage writes a lot of lyrics, most often plumbing the complexities of romantic relationships and sometimes mixing metaphors in run-on sentences in the process. ("The nature of a crime unsolved is that it sometimes leaves you haunted like a ghost without the bravery to speak its mind," she sings in "Corinne.") She also seems to have little sense of the difference between a good line and a bad one. "Hunger in John" is a lament about a lover who has sold out to success, clearly a particular concern to the singer, and it contains some of the few detailed observations Sage makes in her songs, including the striking line "He was so poor that he made me a valentine out of a napkin." Unfortunately, that line follows the song's opening line, "He was so poor that he did his own laundry with his own tears," an example of florid overwriting that should have been replaced with something stronger and more concrete like the line that follows it. This sort of veering from the ridiculous to the sublime tends to make the quality of Sage's songs uneven and to rob her of the ability to rise above her better-known peers. If Chandelier were her debut album, it could be said to demonstrate promise; as an eighth album, it suggests that a longstanding potential has not yet been fulfilled.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/10/2008
Label:
Mpress Records
UPC:
0601937454524
catalogNumber:
4545
Rank:
111879

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rachael Sage   Primary Artist,Piano,Harmonium,Wurlitzer,Vox Organ
Shane Fontayne   Guitar
Jack Petruzzelli   Guitar
Allison Cornell   Violin,Viola
Adam Levy   Guitar
Dean Sharp   Percussion,Drums
Trina Hamlin   Percussion
Russ Johnson   Trumpet
Noe Venable   Vox Organ
Todd Sickafoose   Bass
Rob Curto   Organ,Accordion
Rachael Davis   Vox Organ
Ben Butler   Guitar
Michael Amendola   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Alan Ferber   Trombone
Dorothy Scott   Vox Organ
Dave Eggar   Cello

Technical Credits

Kevin Killen   Engineer
Rachael Sage   Composer,Producer
Russ Johnson   Horn Arrangements
John Shyloski   Engineer
Jay Clifford   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Chandelier 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Rachael Sage's new CD, &quot Chandelier&quot ! The songs are an eclectic mix of strength, tenacity, and fragility as expressed in love, unrequited love, manipulated love, adultery, and the fantasies and disappointment inherent in so many love relationships. Sage's lyrics are pure poetry - intense, stunning, emotive. Her beautiful, edgy voice and keyboard arrangements capture the vitality and vulnerability that keep hope alive and enduring. The soulful echoes of a cello renders the tunes inviting and haunting, and the addition of trumpet and drums draws an upbeat sensibility. Other instruments include guitar, harmonica, accordion, and saxophone. &quot Wishbone&quot is my favorite song from &quot Chandelier&quot . It is a sublime wedding song with gorgeous imagery: &quot Butterflies crawling on the concrete lawn/ Telling me to love you if I'm gonna be strong/ Everything around me is an empty chair/ Don't know where I'm going unless you're there/ Phoenix is flying in a fiery sky/ Telling me to love you till the day I die/ Everything around me is an old wishbone/ It doesn't matter who says, you're my home.&quot Other favorites: &quot Vertigo&quot voices the haunting cries for freedom from a manipulative and adulterous relationship: &quot I feel what I feel/ Feel this is wrong/ And I should have run fast/ Before you led me on.&quot The dark keyboard arpeggios are reminiscent of the powerful opening to &quot Paper Plane&quot from her previous successful release, &quot The Blistering Sun&quot . &quot Angel in my View&quot is an upbeat pop song expressing the musings of a wished-for love affair by someone who falls in love with another who is unavailable: &quot ...You're my only aching/ And I would gladly let you/ Paint me with white lies/ Come on and paint me with white lies.&quot &quot Blue Light&quot is gorgeous soft, jazzy, number about muses and the songs they inspire and the healing that transpires through the metaphor of song. &quot My Word&quot was previously recorded live on &quot The East Side of Fascination&quot and I am thrilled to see its inclusion on this new album with a mix that is equivalent in power to the live recording. &quot My Word&quot riffs on the craft of acting as a metaphor for living through pain and seeking solace in another person as witness: &quot Take me down to the fire-breathing water bed/ Tie me up with imaginary string/ Calm my nerves/ By pretending to be soothing.&quot &quot Corinne&quot is a song about desire and being manipulated by a lover in a way that inspires shame: &quot I've carried you like sawdust in the bottom of my shoes/ Accused&quot &quot Hunger in John&quot is about being hurt by a lover whose personality and values change as he rises from poverty to achieve fame.&quot Invincible&quot describes a dynamic, if ironic, tug-of-war that pulses from feeling vulnerability in unrequited love, yet claiming the strength to keep that love meaningful: &quot I drown in every puddle that I walk in/ I'm invincible.&quot &quot Mexico&quot is a gorgeous cover and moody remix of Jay Clifford's yearning release. Sage reminds me of Ani DiFranco, The Lilith Girl performers, Tori Amos, Elvis Costello, and a little bit of The Indigo Girls. Her influences range from The Beatles to traditional Jewish music. This range gives her songs unforgettable hooks and a unique sound that can't go wrong. Buy this CD - you won't be disappointed! Every song pulses with Rachael's bright and compassionate spirit.