Rachael Sage
Myopia


3.5
great

Review

by Divaman USER (132 Reviews)
May 14th, 2018 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While Sage makes it clear that she sees the darker side of life, she chooses to focus on the positive. This is her own special form of "myopia".

New York City songstress Rachael Sage has just released her 14th studio album. Entitled Myopia, the LP is among her best works yet. Here's my only admonition -- pessimists, cynics, Debbie Downers and other revelers in the dark emotions be forewarned: While the album does contain a few somber songs (including a ballad written just for misanthropes), on the whole, Myopia is almost relentlessly upbeat. The first track smacks you right in the face with all of the reasons that it's good to be alive, and continues on from there. So if you're looking for some music to consume alongside a tequila and a bottle of sleeping pills, you're gonna want to look elsewhere.

For those unfamiliar with her (which judging by her Sputnik Music page includes almost everyone on this site), Sage is a former dancer and show kid who has spent the last twenty years or so carving out a nice little indie music career for herself. She looks like a happier Tori Amos, and her music is a kind of folk-pop blend (with maybe just a dash of cabaret) that calls to mind such disparate artists as Amos, Suzanne Vega, Regina Spektor and Sheryl Crow. In the past, many of her recordings have been heavily piano-based, but on this LP, she's made a conscious decision to record songs that rely more heavily on the guitar. Her music, especially lately, also tends to make good use of underlying string instruments like violins and cellos, which adds a special richness to the sound.

On the whole, the first half of the album seems slightly stronger than the second -- that's where you'll find most of my favorite songs, anyway. This list includes the single "Spark", which has recently been challenging artists like Taylor Swift and Kesha on the FMQB's Adult Comtemporary chart; "Olivia", an ode to the Mariska Hargitay character on the Law & Order SVU television show; and the title track "Myopia", a tribute to self-confidence and triumph over emotional nearsightedness.

The few darker numbers on here include "Sympathy Seed", a song sung from the perspective of a bitter and empty person who wishes they had more human empathy ("I do not possess what I was I were filled with/I wish I were filled with the sympathy seed"); "Daylight", about a woman trying to find a way to deal with her combat-veteran partner, who has come back from the war a changed person; and "Maybe She'll Have Cats," a musical reproach to a father who is overly judgmental of his teen daughter's sexual transgressions ("Someday she'll be older/None of this will matter/No one's gonna wonder/Who she kissed in her heyday").

In spite of tracks like these, though, the album as a whole still comes down heavily on the optimistic side of life. Whether she's playfully singing a punked out version of the Yiddish song "Umru Mayne", or closing the album with a sentimental look at sisterhood ("Sistersong 2018"), Sage makes it clear that it's not that she doesn't see darkness in the world; she just chooses to put her focus on the positive. This is her own special form of "myopia". And I'm just fine with that.



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user ratings (7)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Divaman
May 14th 2018


2778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I caught her live opening for Howard Jones a few months ago. I'd heard of her before that, but wasn't really familiar with her music. I thought it would be worthwhile to expose her music to a new audience here on Sputnik.

Digging: Nightmare Air - Fade Out

Mythodea
May 14th 2018


4251 Comments


I found the disc on her site. Need something positive right now.

Divaman
May 14th 2018


2778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know it's up on Spotify also. I'm going to order it, but I listened on Spotify to write the review.

LouBreed
May 14th 2018


33 Comments


Ok, so the woman keeps creating music which nobody (on this site) seems to care about. A pity. Will check her out, although the singer-songwriterish stuff is not my usual cup of tea. Does she have a Bandcamp (because I can't really use Spotify)?

Mythodea
May 14th 2018


4251 Comments


it's free on her site, just search for Sagemusic

Jethro42
May 14th 2018


15528 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The cover ''No One is to Blame'' is well done. I'm on my first spin, and album contains cool songs and/ or passages. It reminds me of some acoustic The Pretenders in places. The singer has a lovely voice, similar to the one of the jazz singer Holly Cole. Good choice for a review, no doubt. I pos'd. You're really a good writer, Diva.



Edit: I can hear some Edie Brickell (And New Bohemians) too, here and there.

zakalwe
May 14th 2018


25690 Comments


This bird looks exactly like the sort who hawks shit in some hipster habbadashery, charging obscene amounts to feckless hipster cunts in gentrified shitholes. Insta 1.5.

Lovely review though dude.



Divaman
May 14th 2018


2778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys.

Ebola
May 15th 2018


3253 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This rules

Digging: Judicator - The Last Emperor

DoofusWainwright
May 15th 2018


20003 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This sounds like the musical equivalent of a sentimental '3pm spot/made-for-TV' movie lol



It's close to an average rating...just a bit too syrupy for me



How you can rate this the same score as last year's incredible Aimee Mann album I'm not sure Diva but to each their own :D



Great review

Divaman
May 15th 2018


2778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, I warned you guys it's pretty upbeat. It has its darker moments, though.



As for the rating, don't forget that I have to work in even ".5" increments. If I had the freedom, I'd probably give it a 3.3, and the Mann album would have been about a 3.7.



Glad you liked it, Ebola.

BlushfulHippocrene
Contributing Reviewer
May 15th 2018


2528 Comments


Some very lovely, clear writing here Diva, nice work. This sounds like something I might enjoy.

Divaman
May 15th 2018


2778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you, Blush.

Divaman
May 15th 2018


2778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Glad to see this review got a few people to listen to her, anyway. She really had no presence on this site before.

InsightOut
May 15th 2018


35 Comments


beautiful cover, excellent review... Will check out for sure!

BlushfulHippocrene
Contributing Reviewer
May 15th 2018


2528 Comments


I'm not feeling this too much on first listen, but she's certainly talented. Perhaps I'll check some of her past material, I could do with some piano-heavy material right now.

Divaman
May 15th 2018


2778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I'm a fan of that deep green color, Insight. I like the cover too.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
May 16th 2018


23747 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

nice review



dug the first song



hmmm, gets even better after the first couple tracks!

Digging: Elise Davis - Cactus

Atari
Staff Reviewer
May 21st 2018


23747 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

this deserves way more love and discussion and it makes me sick

BlushfulHippocrene
Contributing Reviewer
May 22nd 2018


2528 Comments


Oh god, Diva and Atari praising this now. Going to have to relisten.



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