Thursday, April 15, 2010
Video and album review: Sarah Jaffe’s Suburban Nature
The overwhelming consensus from just about all who have heard it is that Suburban Nature is remarkable.
Expect to be hearing Sarah Jaffe’s name a lot this summer. She is already established as one of Denton’s brightest stars, but with the release of her first full length album, Suburban Nature, the 24-year-old singer/songwriter is poised to invade the iPods of the mainstream audience nationwide. Right now, the album is only available as a digital download and will officially be released as a CD on May 18.
Jaffe and the folks over at Kirtland Records must be thrilled at the amount of attention the album has already received throughout the blogosphere. Jaffe appeared on the very influential Hype Machine website a few weeks ago and since then has exploded onto the internet scene. The overwhelming consensus from just about all who have heard it is that Suburban Nature is remarkable.
The album is very cleverly composed. Each track fits right in place to complete an overall story of love, happiness, and peril. The album begins with one of my favorite songs on the record, “Before You Go.” It kicks off the 14-track album with some simple acoustic guitar strumming and hypnotic vocals before lurching into a pulsing and catchy opener – which is sort of a theme for the album: At times it is punchy and upbeat, and at others, Jaffe slows things down to almost a glacial pace. Still, even songs like “Pretender. Pt 1” which is probably the record’s most minimalist track, are quite exciting.
Sarah Jaffe — Clementine
Playing third on the album, “Clementine” has to be considered one of the best on there. Like many of you, this was the first song I heard from Suburban Nature when it showed up on You Tube a few months ago. The song is terribly catchy and blends syrupy vocals with a quick, warm beat. “Clementine” is also a perfect example of Jaffe at her best lyrically – simple and short: “50 boys, 50 lies, 50 I’m gonna change my minds.” I would expect to be hearing a lot of this song in particular over the next few months.
While nothing is ever guaranteed, I think it is safe to say that Suburban Nature will be a milestone in the career of Sarah Jaffe. There is no question that she will find success because of this album, but how much is still unknown. Not only is the album generating excitement, but so too are her live shows – most notably at NX35 and South By Southwest music festivals. Plus, she is a regular opening act for bands like Midlake, and is currently opening for superstar Norah Jones.
With Record Store Day this weekend, go out and buy your CDs and vinyl records – just don’t forget to download this one too. The final three songs are what really puts this thing over the top. “Watch Me Fall Apart” is another that contends for the best on the album. Jaffe unleashes scathing lyrics to give some edge to an otherwise upbeat song. The final two tracks, “A Perfect Plan” and “Nuture It” are your payoff songs to a beautiful album.
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