Monday, September 26, 2011
Album review: The Way Sound Leaves a Room by Sarah Jaffe
This eight-song record will keep fans at bay while they anxiously await the 2012 sophomore release.
DALLAS Sarah Jaffe’s new album, The Way Sound Leaves a Room, is a transition record between her explosive Suburban Nature and the upcoming 2012 release. It isn’t trying to be a multi-single album that will create enough hype to ignite its own tour or redefine the Denton singer/songwriter. It is a strong step towards an evolved electronic style for the folk singer without letting go of her vulnerable, tragic lines.
Fans will be happy to hear an alternate version of “Clementine,” her highly successful single from her debut album. The piano takes the place of her trusty acoustic, giving the song an entirely different feel. It’s molded into a ballad, matching the way she has interpreted the live version for quite a while. It’s obvious that we will be hearing a lot more electric guitar, bass, and echo pedals from Jaffe, which have been her newest endeavors in the past year or so.
Jaffe goes off the beaten path with the cover of Drake’s “Shut It Down.” This track is coarse and a little naughty, far from her somber style. But her inflection is spot-on. She also covers Cold War Kids’ “Louder Than Ever,” a popular single from the band. The mood and tempo fits her, and the way she strips it down allows her acoustic strums to give a fragmented view of each note.
“A Sucker for Your Marketing” is the single off the record, and a strong one at that. The words are identifiably Jaffe’s, but the added bass and electric guitar show her progression towards something new. She has explored further into the instrumental realm than would be expected from an artist still celebrating the success of her debut album.
Her much-anticipated live DVD is also attached to the record, and was recorded back in February at her sold out performance at the Wyly Theatre in Dallas. Jon Todd Collins, director of the DVD, brilliantly captures her onstage and quirky humor matched with the profoundly real performance. This is worth watching.
If you take the album for what it’s worth and remind yourself that it isn’t meant to be her “next big thing,” it will be an enjoyable listen for months to come. But if you were expecting a big record release, you’ll have to wait until 2012.
The Way Sound Leaves a Room comes out Tuesday, September 27.