Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Day One Review

Two and a half years after the release of Nightbugs (WEA) and over a year since her last tour circuit, Sarah Slean emerges in September 2004 with a new full length album “Day One,” which featured several songs written in the woods of rural Ontario. The album is markedly different from her previous releases, but is not a far cry from some of the upbeat sounds heard on Nightbugs.

Long-time fans who appreciate the more mellow aspects to Sarah’s music may be disappointed with this album due to it being strongly produced and percussion heavy. The album, perhaps shockingly, has Major chords! Sarah Slean grew, got noticeably happier in her music, and is fearless in letting it show. With the help of Pete Prilesnik and Dan Kurtz, she was able to create the pop rock album she’s always wanted, but been unable to create.

The surprisingly confident and catchy “Pilgrim” serves as the opening track to Day One, followed by “Lucky Me,” the album’s first single. Both songs signal long time fans of a dramatic change to Sarah Slean’s musical approach on this album. As with most tracks, guitars and drums take over where Sarah’s piano once lead, both in previous albums and in live performances.

California, though a particular favorite among many, lacks the emotional fervor captured in her live renditions of the song. Despite this, it remains one of the shining pieces of musical craftsmanship on this album. This track is seated closely alongside Wake Up for its musical quality and Vertigo for its spectacularly well-written lyrics. Not so surprisingly, these three songs are the most reminiscent of Slean’s past work.

Day One marks a new day in musical creativity for Sarah Slean. With already unsettled, mixed reviews, this album will raise a few eyebrows. Which may be just what Sarah Slean is looking for.

~nicole g

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