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Sage, Rachel : The Blistering Sun

Rachel Sage writes and plays folk/pop that is intelligent and thought-provoking. It isn't progressive, yet many of Sea Of Tranquility's prog fans would appreciate it anyway - it's approachable, yet quirky, emotional, and although it's pure linear song-oriented stuff, the lyrics in most songs contribute at least half of the artistry.

After hearing just a few of Sage's songs a comparison with 'righteous babe' Ani DiFranco sprang to mind - which is high praise indeed. So it was no surprise to discover that the two have toured together. Sage's songs are not as bitingly cynical as DiFranco's, and she's a bit more melodic and approachable, but similar social observations and the 'righteous babe' attitude are in clear evidence. Her vocal tones are in the mid-range, relaxed yet expressive, and comfortably matched to the singer/songwriter/storyteller genre. Think Ricky Lee-Jones, or a slightly more poetic and less grating Alanis Morissette - or the lilting folksy prose and French accordions in "93 Maidens" might bring to mind a less-angelic Loreena McKennitt. And the opening lines from "Violet Or Blue" are exactly the same as those in a DiFranco tune. The songwriting is above average for the folk-pop genre, and although the instrumental arrangements are generally straightforward, they mirror the tone of each song rather effectively. And that storyteller label isn't applied lightly. Sage tells stories ranging from a woman goading her lover into action to how the holocaust affected her Jewish forebears.

That song-oriented aspect, the fact that there are no real instrumental sections, and the voice that features in almost every bar, could lead an unkind observer to call the songs 'samey'. But that would be missing the point ... the point of this music is in the message - and that probably contributed to the dozen-or-so awards Sage has won over the past 7 years.

With musical skills developed from childhood, formal training in a number of the arts, a back catalog of 7 CDs; as an ex Lilleth Fair participant, a VH-1 song of the year winner in the Gospel category, and a residence in New York city's East Village - singer/pianist/songwriter Rachel Sage and her music are poised to contribute to the social conscience of the this generation.

Track Listing:
1. Alright, OK Listen
2. Featherwoman Listen
3. 93 Maidens
4. Wildflower Listen
5. Violet or Blue
6. Lonely Streets
7. Older
8. Hit Song
9. Burning Witch
10.Paperplane
11.Proof Listen
12.Surprise
13.Anything, Anywhere
14.C'mon Over
15.Calypso

Added: June 24th 2006
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Score:
Related Link: Rachel Sage's Web Site
Hits: 3920
Language: english

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