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Blasko, Sarah - What the Sea Wants, the Sea... Album Cover

Blasko, Sarah - What the Sea Wants, the Sea...

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7.7
Sarah Blasko - What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have
Record Label: Low Altitude Records
Release Date: July 10, 2007
Sarah Blasko is an Australian singer-songwriter who has received many accolades in the press over the years since the release of her EP Prelusive in 2003. She built up momentum with her 2005 full-length debut album The Overture & the Underscore which not only set her up in indie markets but also garnered her global attention in mainstream media, so when her second full-length album What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have was released in 2007, many like myself were curious to know if she meets up to all the hype that surrounds her. In my opinion, much like Amy Winehouse, Sarah Blasko is made up to sound more impressive than she actually is on the album. Most will disagree, but truth be told, many female singers sound like Blasko and there are those who sound better.

Sarah Blasko’s vocals have a limited range so the tunes have a mundane drone. Her vocal melodies transform the girl next door to a femme fatale figure which may explain why so many of those radiant reviews for her album come from male writers. Blasko has the guileless/what you see is what you get/country-girl style of Ingrid Michaelson balanced by the tough on the outside and vulnerable on the inside quality of Brandi Carlile. The one difference between Blasko and other alternative-pop artists is that Blasko is more esoteric in her expressions showing in her lyrics and the titles of her albums which read like oracles. This prophetic tone of her words adds to Blasko’s mystery and she becomes a riddle that people try to figure out in order to open its message. Her songs project the alluring call of a siren with the halcyon voice of a maiden. The more I listened to her songs, the more apparent it became to me that the difference between Blasko and artists like Tift Merritt, Casey Chambers, and Matt Costa is very slim. All of their vocal executions lure the listener in and I cannot advocate that one singer is better at it than another.

Collaborating with Robert F. Cranny and Jim Moginie, founding member of Midnight Oil, Blasko’s album What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have vacillates between morosely pitched tunes and up-tempo modulations as Blasko’s vocals hover over the instruments. Her vocals are often spoken with tight-lipped almost emotionless murmurs similar to Tara Jane O’Neil on tracks like “For You,” “Amazing Things,” and “The Garden’s End.” Blasko shows passion in her voice by singing in a dispassionate tone like she has been gravely beaten down by life’s experiences. The mournful air of “The Garden’s End,” “The Albatross,” and “I Could Never Belong to You” is dressed in tenderly moaning harmonics. The soft percussive cupping beats of “The Albatross” are ribbed by softly flexing strings, and the dulcet piano dirge of “I Could Never Belong to You” is accented by gently blowing strings. The cutesy up-tempo keys of “Queens of Apology” provide the groundwork for Blasko’s largest vocal wails on the album, and the sparsely tinted “Showstopper” is touched up with huge waves of vocal choirs coming into Blasko’s vocal melody.

The acoustic rock textures of “Always on This Line” and “Planet New Year” have a more upbeat tempo and coffeehouse feel with a resemblance to the music of Tift Merritt. Blasko’s voice teeters between expressing conviction and murmuring through tight-lips on the track “Hammer” as the rhythms move at a brisk pace. The soft balladry flow of the guitar lines on “The Woman by the Wall” has a bluesy feel that crystallizes the lyrics like “Shine a light on my misery.” A bluesy texture is also produced on the track “[Explain]” written in brackets on the album. The soft chamber-pop calibrations weave choppy strings into a smooth piano melody as Blasko’s vocals hover over them bringing to mind the image of a woman looking out a window singing to someone who is out there that she cannot reach but she wants to very badly.

Blasko’s voice projects lamenting images vividly in her sparse melodies which are balanced by up-tempo numbers arranged in a coffeehouse artist style. She is good, but she is just as good as many other alternative-pop/coffeehouse artists. Her album is pleasant and relates to people who are going through a loss or a low point in their lives. It is an album tailored for those going through woeful moods.

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This review is a user submitted review from Susan Frances. You can see all of Susan Frances's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 6 of 6
05:27 AM on 02/08/08
#2
cereal4life
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Pretty accurate review! I agree her vocal range isn't all that great but she is most certainly better than Casey Chambers. Sarah Blasko also dances funnily. Wasn't this album released in 2006? I think the 2007 was a re-release. I think.
06:59 PM on 02/09/08
#3
chinese burn
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The review is pretty spot on. I don't think she'll ever top "Don't You Ever", but I still do like this album.

Pretty accurate review! I agree her vocal range isn't all that great but she is most certainly better than Casey Chambers. Sarah Blasko also dances funnily. Wasn't this album released in 2006? I think the 2007 was a re-release. I think.
Yes, late 2006. And yes, Casey Chambers is abysmal.
07:49 PM on 02/09/08
#4
punklet2101
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Hmm yep. I'm trying to make up my mind about this album, I need to give it a few more listens.
01:09 AM on 02/10/08
#5
jonnointherough
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Her cover of 'flametrees' by cold chisel is divine. I haven't heard much of this album but what I did hear was nice.
05:12 AM on 02/11/08
#6
cereal4life
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Good to see some 'strayans on here representing!

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