Sarah Slean – Metaphysics

Sarah Slean - MetaphysicsSince the release of Sarah Slean‘s last record, the double-album Land & Sea in 2011, much has changed – both with the world and with Sarah herself.

She channels these changes on her new album Metaphysics as she re-evaluates how she, and we, look forward on onward. While the album can serve as a love letter to ourselves, it’s also surprisingly personal coming from Sarah, a writer who has often delved into history and philosophy to express her thoughts and emotions; this time she expresses herself point blank.

The song Sarah is autobiographical about the journey of heartbreak, before, during and long after, but she highlights it with the promise that she will rise from it, “this is not the end/you will be loved again.” On Not In Vain, she reiterates her broken heart but offers assurance that despite the way things wound up, she’s appreciative and better for it.

It’s her ability to look on the bright side that carries the album. Every Rhythm Is The Beat, a song inspired by an exchange with a man on a train that led to several years of correspondence, captures that feeling best as she sings about positivity and hope. She never closes a sad door without opening a hopeful window.

Metaphysics boasts a delightful sonic range from the captivating mid-tempo Perfect Sky, to the delicate A Thousand Butterflies to the musically seductive The Gypsy, which exists in such perfect contrast with the rest of the album. It combines every chapter of Sarah’s past musical outputs into one album that fuses the personal, universal, and classical, spanning her nearly 20-year career with a perfect blend of sounds, from the foggy midnight mist of Blue Parade to the poetic pop of Day One to the vulnerability of The Baroness, all of which are present and supported by a sweeping string section. Metaphysics can truly be described as Sarah’s Best Of album.
Four stars

Tracklisting
1. Perfect Sky
2. Every Rhythm Is The Beat
3. The Dark
4. Sarah
5. Loved Well
6. A Thousand Butterflies
7. Holy Ground
8. Not In Vain
9. The Gypsy
10. Nothing But The Light

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