I am fully aware that if I ever want to start making money from writing about music and movies, I will have to take my heart out of my reviews. I am aware that the day will come when I will have to analyze an album with precision and critical thinking; today is not that day.
Amidst the Chaos, the new album from the incomparable Sara Bareilles, has officially been gifted to the world and I just spent the last hour and a half crying over every song.
In terms of technicality, Amidst the Chaos took the piano ballads that Sara Bareilles is known for and rooted the sound in a busier environment. The music sounds beautifully layered, with her piano blending into the background and the guitar coming in a little more prominently. Sara clearly allowed herself to play with a more acoustic sound and though she’s made a strong career out of the piano ballads, this album doesn’t feel out of place within the rest of her discography.
Sara Bareilles’s music feels like a firm and supportive helping-hand. Every word wraps around you like a necessary hug and every beat in each song feels like a nudge in the right direction. Every song in this album feels important, it all feels like an unavoidable life lesson and if my current emotional status is any indication; this may just be the most soul-stirring album of 2019.
“Armor” took the defeat that we felt after the election and turned it into a powerful anthem. “No Such Thing” took the heartbreak of saying goodbye to the Obamas and made it an agonizing ballad. “Safe Place to Land” took the sadness and helplessness over the border crisis and created an encouraging, tender and necessary song. Activism looks good on Sara Bareilles.
“If I Can’t Have You” feels like reality staring at you directly. The song embodies the kind of closure that lets you breathe a little easier. It allows you to move on, while giving you a moment to reminisce.
If I can’t have you
Then I have to find a way to get through
Though I don’t want to
I have to do my best to recall
That I’m thankful that I held you at all
The daily news cycle has me in a constant state of panic. Everything that I thought I knew feels like a fairytale that I have brutally woken up from. I don’t even know where to start on making things better, but “Orpheus” is a reminder of how together we are in all of this.
Trying to find me here amidst the chaos
Though I know it’s blinding
There’s a way out
Say out loud
We will not give up on love now
I became enamored by “Poetry by Dead Men” as soon as I heard Sara sing it live at the Troubadour. The song allows you to take your power back, while giving you enough room to be vulnerable with your feelings.
By the time you hear this, I’ll be in the rearview mirror
I’ll even wear that green dress you like, so when I disappear
You can turn around, one last look at the girl you lost
In the time you took to make up your mind between two roads
Go and take some more time, but me and mine must go
I consider myself an extremely lucky girl. I have been blessed with a group of supportive and loving friends. We are high energy, always down for a dance party and constantly ready for a heart-to-heart. Existing with clinical depression feels impossible at times but my people, the ones who refuse to let me sit in the darkness for too long, make everything absolutely worth it. I am grateful, I am obsessed with them and I have found the perfect song to drunkenly sing to them while on our way back from West Hollywood. “Someone Who Loves Me” is a beautiful declaration of gratitude and it quickly jumped to the top of the list as one of my favorites.
Your gift to me is just to be
Bracing for the winds I always summon
My home, my heart, thank God you are
Someone who loves me
Amidst the Chaos exists at the perfect time. If ever you feel lost, overwhelmed and a bit helpless; take a lesson from Sara Bareilles and create beautiful art out of your feelings. She made magic out of her anxieties and channeled her fears into her music. She took her frustrations and she created lyrical masterpieces. Life often feels overwhelming but this crazy ride feels less stressful when you add Sara Bareilles to the soundtrack of your life.
Thank you for the therapy session Sara, your music feels like the warmest of hugs in the toughest of days. You are the purest form of magic and everything feels a little bit easier after listening to you. Thank you.