It’s funny how music can change. It’s so malleable; you could hear it in one setting and hate it, vowing to never again let such filth invade your eardrums again. I’m referring to mainly pop by the way. Then, you could hear it at a different time, in a different situation, a different artist and see something in it that you never considered. It’s not just to down to peer pressure, either. You could be listening to a song on repeat in the morning that by night time you can’t stand. Basically, music isn’t just a meal in itself, to really enjoy it you need to be in the right frame of mind, as well as a situation where you can enjoy it.
Enter Princeton NJ based Sarah Donner who just released “That is a Pegasus” (2014). Donner has a sound all her own. There are elements of pop, folk, R&B in this rather magical compilation. When I turned on this CD I actually did not expect what I heard. After doing some research and once I listened to Track 1 “Signal” I quickly realized this was a quintessential artist/ songwriter/singer I was listening to with a slew of albums to her credit. I probably wasn’t giving her the best chance for success as I must be honest. Some artists are a bit over the top about their music lately-especially. Especially within the pop realm. It’s just feels as if they are selling something under a false pretence lacking a real and genuine sense of musical inspiration. I mean give me something I can feel! Today it feels like many artists out there are going through the motions via cookie cutter songwriting – well how appropriate none of it provides a real source of inspiration. Where am I going with his? None of the above applies to Donner. Because the music and singing is 100% for real are oh so good! I might add as I drifted in and out of uncomfortable sleep, hazy static and sporadic hooky bursts of music punctuated my dreams I realized this woman probably believes and feels every stroke, every note, every song she sang. I played this CD probably 4 times and despite the brutal sludgy of the Brooklyn traffic there was something on many of this full loaded 13 track CD collection that soothed my inner skepticism. On the second listen, slightly more conscious this time, I began to pick out the sounds somewhere between Chris Pureka,
Liz Phair, Sarah Slean, Aimee Mann, Patty Griffin and The Be Good Tanya’s.
Bending elements of catchy pop and “top flight” elements of Alternative Folk based blues one can’t help but fall madly in love with songs like (Signal), (Plain Man) and (Seine). (The Rebuttal of Schrodinger’s Cat) will have you rolling in the isles. This CD will not go in my “reviewed pile” rather it will go on my I-POD for waking up or working out to.
My favorite song is (The Rebuttal of Schrodinger’s Cat).
This somewhat folk pop approach and vivid theatrical mix works and the somewhat dreamy precision and concentrated themes meshed with Donner’s amazing and exuberant vocal confidence. Vocally she keeps her head well above water and all 13 tracks make for some top quality production world from all involved. I kept waiting for a blemish or disappointing song to emerge – which never really happened through to the end. Donner is a talented gal who has the courage to put this style of music out there. She has a great sound and is just an entertaining and captivating artist. Typically it’s these types of artists that represent the artistic soul of America today that will not only inspire, but to make it all the way to the top of our hearts as well.