When Sara Bareilles broke onto the scene back in 2007, her first single “Love Song” was a prime example of a compromise. Years after the release, she confessed that “Love Song” was written in response to her label’s rejection of her songs in hopes that she provide more mainstream, radio-friendly music. Over the years, Bareilles’ songs continued the trend of being pop-friendly.
Bareilles’ latest album, “What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress” is a slight departure from the music we are used to hearing from her. I’ll be honest, I’m not all too familiar with her entire discography. What I know of her works are based on those mainstream trendy singles played on the radio and stuck in your head for days. That’s why I was expecting a little more of that on this new album, but with a little twist.
Just from the title itself, I was expecting the tracks to flow like a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Definitely was not disappointed on that expectation.
“But I was not prepared for the Broadway feel present throughout the record.”
As I made my way from track to track, I could vividly see scenes unfolding in my mind. Certain tracks like “When He Sees Me” and “Never Ever Getting Rid Of Me” are traditional music theater sound and are also very lyrically so in the way that they put you into a character’s thought process. Others are similar to Bareilles’ previous singles, but with a twist. “I Didn’t Plan It” has a jazzy feel, while “Soft Place To Land” has a very ethereal vibe.
I was very curious about the change in style, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that Bareilles’ composed these songs for the stage musical adaptation of the 2007 indie film, Waitress, starring Keri Russell. Suddenly, the pieces fell into place; the title, the style, the lyrics.
I won’t say that I can hear any of these songs on the radio, but I enjoyed the album after I realized it’s true base. Fans of musical theater will definitely enjoy the album, but those with minimal exposure to Bareilles’ entire discography may not find it as appealing.