Review Summary: Sara Bareilles has found solace with her music, a way to get from her restlessness
Melancholy: it's a feeling that we all get (or will get), an unwanted lingering of sadness; sometimes, despite your most courageous attempts to break away from the awful feeling, you can't seem to pull through anything. It makes you feel restless, it makes you feel constantly drained, it simply makes you feel overall terrible
. You feel helpless, you feel as if there's no solution to your constant slump.
This is what Sara Bareilles is going through. She's restless, she's battling with her despondency through out The Blessed Unrest
. She pins it right on her sleeve, slightly shrouded in the piano-driven, upbeat and beautiful pop music she creates. She perfectly arranges the songs in a way that the melancholic atmosphere never fades, even through the most poppy songs on the album. It might not start with it right away, as the seemingly happy opener, "Brave", has a hopeful undertone: a poppy, uplifting song, egging someone -- perhaps even an self-moving anthem -- for someone to be courageous, to be outspoken and get out of the hole you've fallen into; in the least, it's catchy -- and it's just the beginning, and you wouldn't be expecting the dejection that's to come.
The restlessness doesn't surface until "Hercules" comes along, as it begins with "I miss the days my mind would just rest quiet"
; it's becoming apparent. Bareilles wants to overcome this sense of unhappiness, she wants to be her own warriors against her own depression -- she wants to be her own Hercules, as she was "meant to be a warrior". The saddened piano keeps the gloomy tone for awhile, no break from the atmosphere she creates, and continues with "Satellite Call". The instrumentals on this particular song has one of the most somber tones, marking it as one of the most emotional songs, as the lyrics give a shout out to the ones who weren't as strong she with their melancholy. Here, Bareilles leads the album to a more up-tempo direction shortly for "Black Little Dress", which is a personal favorite; the melancholy is still reserved in the lyrics, but it's one of the catchiest songs on the album and contains one of the most infectious vocal melodies. The emotion still tags along, going on through "1,000 Times", on through "Islands", and finally up to the closer: "December". The mid-tempo song rounds up the gloominess, not completely ridding it, but she sings when the climax of the song comes "It can't be a mistake if I just call it a change"
over a short break, making it feel as it has come to a conclusion, musically and internally for Sara.
Sara Bareilles knows how to create a saddened atmosphere through a catchy pop album. The album flows perfectly, making it feel as is the melancholy is constantly brimming to the tip; she knows how to create catchy songs through her depression, making you feel hopeful for her -- maybe feeling hopeful for herself; she knows exactly what to do to give herself a place of solace, and that's to put it into music, making her restlessness come out in her music and making herself grow as an artist. She's becoming one of the best piano-driven pop artists, continuously growing as a songwriter. She may not be incredibly unique and lacks her own personal and distinct style, but she's crafted a brilliant pop album; she's added new elements to her music and made some of her most dramatic-sounding and bursting songs to date while sticking to the foundation of piano-driven pop.