Sarah Blasko: As Day Follows Night (Universal)

 |   |  1 min read

Sarah Blasko: Lost and Defeated
Sarah Blasko: As Day Follows Night (Universal)

In what looked like a joke, a recent issue of the Australian Rolling Stone described Sarah Blasko as "music's most reluctant star" in the blurb above a story which ran for pages, included a lot of intimate and arty photos, and had the singer-songwriter extensively quoted.

As "reluctant" goes it was hardly in the league of Greta Garbo, Howard Hughes or Scott Walker.

Still, we mustn't judge artists by their publicity and Blasko's sensitive, literate and cleverly arranged songs (closer to Rufus Wainwright in cabaret mode than Joni Mitchell) do suggest a pensive and slightly melancholy soul who might prefer to shun the light of public scrutiny -- this despite a seemingly confessional quality that runs through many songs.

There is a winningly simple melodicism at work here and although her voice is often light and full of slightly twee innocence, when she pushes herself her vocals can be forceful and as the strings rise behind her she seems to gain even great power and emotional momentum.

Recorded in Stockholm and calling on musicians who seem to understand this gently dramatic cabaret/Marianne Faithfull/film-noir/sweet soundtrack style intimately, this is one of those immediately appealing but deep albums which will have some longevity.

For all those soundbed components (nicely prominent and melodic but not overbearing drumming), Blasko keeps her ears firmly planted in pop structures with songs which are as chock full of hooks as any Kate Bush, Bacharach or Camera Obscura pop song and memorably simple lyrics: "hold on my heart" "is my baby yours?" "we won't run, we can fight" will come to you after a first reference.

Love -- and especially its loss -- is her theme but here is optimism (as the title suggets) and in a world getting mighty crowded with not dissimilar voices and slightly uneasy girl-women singers wearing cardies, Blasko really does stand out on the strength of this album.


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Savages: Adore Life (Matador)

Savages: Adore Life (Matador)

At this distance it was easy to be sceptical about the British music press embracing Savages and their album-cum-manifesto Silence Yourself three years ago. The all-women quartet —... > Read more

Little Feat and Friends: Join the Band (429/Shock)

Little Feat and Friends: Join the Band (429/Shock)

That Little Feat survived the death of founder Lowell George back in 79 wasn't so surprising. Much as George was the charismatic, stoned frontman there was no denying that this was a band of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Kunming, China: Escape from the haste

Kunming, China: Escape from the haste

Kunming – the capital of Yunnan province in south west China – doesn't do quiet. With a population around 6.5 million (and, improbably, a sister city to New Plymouth since 2003),... > Read more

GREAT LOST KIWI SINGLES: Rock follies

GREAT LOST KIWI SINGLES: Rock follies

They are found at the back of cartons at record fairs, under beds in long abandoned houses and sometimes stored lovingly -- but rarely played -- in the collections of the obsessives. They are those... > Read more