Artist: Sarah Slean
Date: March 11, 2008
Venue: Joe’s Pub
City: New York
Review by Karen Hester
It’s problematic seeing an artist for the first time when they’ve got a back catalog you love, but you’re not into their current album. Universe, Blue Parade, Night Bugs, Day One, Orphan Music – like, love, adore them. The Baroness – am rather bored by it so far (fingers crossed, am continuing to listen). The songs and lyrics are too plain; lots of slow boring ballads; the genres it touches on are gospel, cabaret etc – I want more pop, rock, hell I’ll take opera.
The new song I liked the most at the concert was ‘Parasol’ which isn’t on the album – this mad lively song was only available to pre-sale buyers who were willing to pay as much for postage as the album. ‘Parasol’ tumbles along at great speed, spilling melody over the side, silly rhymes piling on top of one another. “And I coughed this up in a sooty perfume, Out of my mouth like a feather plume, And now here’s one more crazy tune”, stench, bench, wrench; lane, Spain, explain. Eliza Doolittle would choke. A song I would happily legally download IF it were available. Such are the reasons I hate record companies.
Somehow she picked all my least favorites from The Baroness to play – the most boring of boring. No poppy catchy ‘Change your mind’ or ‘So many miles’, ghostly ‘Shadowland’, dramatic ‘Hopeful hearts’. She played ‘California’, ‘Pilgrim’, ‘Duncan’, ‘Blue parade’, ‘Universe’ (a request), and those were all lovely. Great band (upright bass, drums, guitar). Sarah stood and danced for ‘Lucky me,’ and the cameras came out. Her theatrical mannerisms can distract from the music – even though the persona goes with the music, it is awkwardly realized and can be uncomfortable to watch for some.
Still, enough lovely moments, and I don’t like the previous albums any the less.