Blessed, she names the unrest that fills her album with bright, brilliant energy. Sara Bareillesā fourth studio album made big waves in 2013, notably with its crowd-pleasing single āBrave.ā Once again, demonstrating Bareillesā triple threat of being able to write, sing, and accompany herself on music that crowns the heart and soul.
The Blessed Unrest is a love song for the city, specifically New York. She plays into the corners of the city with āManhattan,ā and we chase dawn creeping over skyscrapers in āChasing the Sun.ā Like urban life, her album is grounded, gritty, starstruck, and carries a grey and black edge. Itās real, for sure, and not without an element of bittersweet magic, that comes straight from the buildings and blossoms of Central Park.
Bareilles is brave herself, experimenting in songs with a new, neon sound. The echoing āSatellite Call,ā kicking āEden,ā and distant, sweet āIslandsā suggest a throwback, exciting ā80s influence. But even when she deviates from her norm, Bareilles maintains a taste for the kind of sweet, soft rock that makes you want to put on your headphones and melt.
Thereās ample soul in Bareillesā album, reflecting her unique ability to put raw, complicated feelings into words. āHerculesā is about becoming your own hero, a promise Bareilles lives up to in the free-spirited āLittle Black Dress.ā āI Choose Youā is the albumās wedding-ready ballad, a self-described ālifelong love letter' to the person you choose to love, which, like āBrave,ā fuels Bareillesā advocacy for freely living and loving. Another jewel, ā1000 Timesā is the confession of a broken heart.
We end with āDecember,ā which has the sad sweetness of the end of the year, and all of its hope. Bareilles creates a tracklist of songs that are complete and personal, and the album feels like a gift from someone you know. Itās also the end of something great, wise and full of heart. So praise the blessed unrest.