By Damien Monaco
On Rachael Sage’s most recent LP, Blue Roses, her soulful vocals, combined with her exquisite piano playing, are immediately apparent when playing the first track, “English Tea.” This song provides the listener with plenty of reasons to continue on. The next track, “Blue Roses,” is slightly slower, but still packs a punch. Although the music seems more mellow on this song, the skill and talent still shine through. Sage’s vocals take center stage, with every note flowing effortlessly.
On “Barbed Wire,” the listener is treated to a variety of instruments, all working together in flawless harmony, complementing Sage’s vocals perfectly. Followed by “Wax,” with its intoxicating sounds from the violin, piano and drums, you will be hooked after only the first few notes.
At this point, it is easy to see why Sage is compared to certain notable artists, such as Tori Amos, Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, Rufus Wainwright and The Weepies. Even though Sage’s music might be reminiscent of others, she still shows plenty of innovation and creativity, carving her own well-deserved spot in the music world.
“Not Leaving You” is yet another song that displays Sage’s enormous talent, even though the chorus is extremely simple and to the point, with “I’m not leaving you” repeated a few times along with a different comment thrown in the mix here and there. The basic chorus is evened out with the complex music that is played alongside it.
Sage’s lyrics about love, romance and relationships are an obvious theme throughout the album. True, there are already so many artists out there covering these topics, but many don’t do it quite as well as Sage does. With the help from Grammy-nominated producer John Shyloski, Blue Roses is a very successful album, showcasing this New York City-based artist’s sophisticated songwriting and musical talent. Additionally, the recordings on this album feature members of Daft Punk, Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen’s bands, as well as a duet with folk icon Judy Collins, enhancing the tracks and making for something quite unique and special.