Customer Reviews


205 Reviews
5 star:
 (177)
4 star:
 (21)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


113 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Sophomore Album in YEARS!
Easily my top 3 albums of the year! Let's start with that. This album is the most delightful and expansive (style-wise) sophomore album I think I've ever heard since The Score from The Fugees (bold statement... I know). But I seriously cannot get enough of this CD. I've had a copy of it for about three days (I know, sue me). But I also pre-ordered the iTunes version for...
Published on September 7, 2010 by Cade_ATX

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Didn't love this one as much as her first album.
Published 6 months ago by Auntie


‹ Previous | 1 221 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

113 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Sophomore Album in YEARS!, September 7, 2010
By 
Cade_ATX (Austin, TEXAS) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kaleidoscope Heart (Audio CD)
Easily my top 3 albums of the year! Let's start with that. This album is the most delightful and expansive (style-wise) sophomore album I think I've ever heard since The Score from The Fugees (bold statement... I know). But I seriously cannot get enough of this CD. I've had a copy of it for about three days (I know, sue me). But I also pre-ordered the iTunes version for the pre-order song and ordered a hard copy version off Amazon to make up for my conscience.

From start to finish, this relentless work of beauty captures you early with great percussions (and excellent violin placement on Uncharted) along with the Bareilles-uniqueness of lyrics she always has. Many of the poppier songs take full advantage of the time signature that even my fingers are tapping to the rhythm as I type this review. Another highlight is the actual pacing of the album itself. The album as a whole feels like you've just taken two deep breaths, breathing in being the excitement from the catchy pop songs and breathing out to being the solace you find from the softer, piano/acoustic guitar tracks.

Let's take a walk, track-to-track:

* Kaleidoscope Heart (*/*) - No need to rate the intro, though it is a perfect intro! Feels like a minute of Hide & Seek from Imogen Heap. Definitely sparks your interest for what's about to come.

* Uncharted (5/5) - And Bam! Off we go... catchy simple piano backed with violin work. Simple progression into full band kick-in. Her singing style is great with this song. I simply love how the verse lines each start slow and finish with rapid-fire lyrics. Not only a perfect start to the album, but I also feel this would be a perfect start to a live show for her.

* Gonna Get Over You (4.5/5/) - Four beats of 1820's burlesque piano into Neo-New York pop piano work... perfect. Snapping fingers perfectly assist the verses into a very catchy and sweet/sassy chorus. "Maybe... it's a vicious little word that could, Slay Me..." I love how each line isn't necessarily a full sentence yet broken up into bits and pieces of full thoughts, a style of work she does so poetically well in nearly all her tracks.

* Hold My Heart (4.5/5) - A perfect "lights go down, slow-mo scene, character realization piece. Bass drum beat with three-chord piano progression and handclaps carry Act 1 of this song perfectly leading up to the full band lead-in for the remainder. The bridge is excellent on this song by the way! Reminds me of "Come Around Soon" but without that beautiful, treasure-esque note she hits (which I still find as the best note recorded this decade). Finishes beautifully with another chorus. Excellent songwriting once again.

* King Of Anything (5/5) - There are so many things I would say if only I was able....... :)

* Say You're Sorry (4/5) - This is my least favorite song on the album (and by no means does that mean I skip over it when I listen thru!) The hardest part for me about this song is that it's my favorite song lyrically, it came out as perfect as I know she wanted it to production-wise, and has a nice chorus... for some reason it just doesn't resonate with me as much as the rest of the CD does. I know this is going to be many people's favorite by the way... it truly is a great track.

* The Light (4.5/5) - Alright! You ready to breathe out now? I love this song! Might be the most poetic song on the CD. The percussion pairs excellent with the piano and high notes she hits throughout the song. This is one of those songs that you can put on during traffic and before you know it, you're home with a high hat kick.

* Basket Case (5/5) - Great track! Starts like a Dylan/Springsteen ballad in the way the harmonica sings with acoustic strings. An excellent, subtle song that prepares you for your second breath.

* Let The Rain (5/5) - Alright, breath number two starts a third of the way through this track. My favorite track by far on this CD. Has everything in it! Lyrics, drum beat, piano, hook, VERY creative style. All and all, just excellent.

* Machine Gun (4.5/5) - This has my FAVORITE hook on the CD. I find myself just bobbing my head back and forth through the verse, using the minor chord she hits during the pre-chorus as a warm up for yelling the hook out loud. The bridge is great lyrically too... "don't just hide in the silence behind what you've been really trying to say". ALMOST as epic as Many The Miles.

* Not Alone (4/5) - A great, smoky, blues and burlesque feel all the way through. Has that creepin' bassline that she adapted through a few tracks off Little Voice. A solid song but can end up being a song that finishes before you know it. Not the catchiest tune on the list but lyrically (common theme, eh?) superb. The bridge is fun and she surprises you with an Alfred Hitchcock interview clip towards the end.

* Breathe Again (5/5) - OK everyone! Time to start breathing out your second breath with the second best track on the CD. A lot more relatable for most people I feel. The drum and piano dance together flawlessly in sync once again and have this sneaky electric guitar in the background that, all in all, just work perfectly. The last 30 seconds bring back that Imogen Heap feel. Beautiful.

* Bluebird (4.5/5) - Beautiful finish... as if you would expect nothing else from what you just heard. Great lyrics, simple beat, beautiful violin and voice. I love the idea of this song and what she's singing about.

And we're done! Congratulations, you've made it through one of the most anticipated albums of the year. I can't express (or can I?) how wonderful this CD is. I just can't wait to hit up La Zona Rosa next month for the Austin show. It's going to be amazing, I know!

Oh, and also, do not actually try to listen to this whole CD in two breaths... you will for sure kill yourself...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Colors In This Kaleidoscope, September 7, 2010
This review is from: Kaleidoscope Heart (Audio CD)
Sara Bareilles confidently sidesteps the threat of sophomore slump with "Kaleidoscope Heart." The album is sugary yet mature pop from head to toe.

Produced with care and empathy by Neil Avron, it breathes easily and organically, resulting in a sunny surface that lets the lyrics and melodies radiate without excess sounds or beat clouding it. This is the kind of record Sarah McLachlan's fans wish she was capable of crafting again.

Lead single "King of Anything" is highly indicative of the album as a whole with its witty observations and jangly, radio-friendly melody. "Uncharted," the first song Bareilles penned for the LP, is a moment of euphoric revelation, propelled with such urgency that it sounds like it had no choice but to escape the mind of its writer. It is just idiosyncratic enough to show Bareilles' texture and individuality yet also has hit potential due to its colorful, instantly endearing hook.

"Gonna Get Over You" is even more solid and well-oiled - a doo-wop-infused slice of relentlessly catchy, hopelessly upbeat piano pop that is radio-friendly all over. The lyrics and melody sound blissfully wed and inextricable. As with most of the songs, not a single syllable is awkward or wasted, and not one moment is excessively noisy or cluttered.

"The Light," with its pastoral, gorgeous, wintry arrangement, is so intense it feels like it might absolutely burst from the pressure built up inside it. The brooding "Hold My Heart," which resembles Beyonce's "Halo" with its anonymous handclaps, is nonetheless similarly stirring with its brooding contemplation and Bareilles' passionate vocals. She moves in-between the high and low notes with mathematical - though never mechanical - precision. Where her voice lacks inherent beauty her sincerity and expressiveness compensate effectively.

"Say You're Sorry" is a cheeky slice of thoughtful, adult-oriented pop song craft, as is the kinetic, highly inspired, almost prayerful "Let the Rain." The aching, elegant "Breathe Again" begins with perhaps the best-written line on the album - "Car is parked, bags are packed, but what kind of heart doesn't look back?" Simple, sharply observed beauty shines through.

Most of Bareilles' peers are masterful at either lyrics or melody, but even the lesser moments of "Kaleidoscope Heart" show that she is masterful at both of them. It is heartening to see an artist put such vested effort in on a studio recording fated to sell relatively few copies in a troubled music industry. Her skills are so strong and incisive that for 50 minutes it feels like the mid-90s again, when singer/songwriters could still sell millions of records and their singles were warmly welcomed on radio.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a new fan of a great talent, September 7, 2010
This review is from: Kaleidoscope Heart (Audio CD)
I am a new fan. I heard Sara on television today and she grabbed my attention in the middle of a busy morning. I bought the album and love it. In a day when so many performers try to disguise their lack of ability with smoke clouds and laser beams, distracting costumes and an assortment of non-musical stupidity, Sara is a breath of fresh air. She is a wonderful songwriter who delivers her work with power, beauty and authenticity. The album is a true pleasure to listen to. This girl has talent. I don't buy very many whole albums, but this one is worth it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sara is the real deal!, September 15, 2010
By 
Sara Bareilles is the real deal. If her album Little Voice hasn't convinced you, then her new album Kaleidoscope Heart should do the trick. After listening to her new release, I'd rank Sara Bareilles up there with Sarah Mclachlan as one of my favorite female singer songwriters.

I wondered if Sara could top Little Voice, and all I can say is that I wasn't disappointed. This another excellent album by Sara. This is probably one of the few albums that I will listen to all the way through and not feel the need to skip any songs. Stand out songs are Uncharted, Gonna Get Over You, Hold My Heart, King of Anything, Say You're Sorry, The Light and Let the Rain. The songs aren't as bluesy as the songs on "Little Voice," if that's what you're expecting. However, the melodies are excellent and memorable.

There are some great ballads on this album, and the upbeat songs have that playfulness in Sara's voice that I love.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "This Territory is Uncharted", September 8, 2010
By 
Tim Williamson (CLAREMONT, CA, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kaleidoscope Heart (Audio CD)
This CD is a great sophomore effort from Sara Bareilles. She had a lot to live up to from her debut "Little Voice" with smash singles such as "Love Song", "Bottle It Up", and "Gravity". This LP does not dissapoint in the slightest. We are able to hear the piano-driven singer along with her witty lyrics and singable melodies once again. However, "Kaleidoscope Heart" adds some new sounds and instruments that we didn't experience with "Little Voice". Here's a track by track review:

1. Kaleidoscope Heart - This a cappella intro is a great way to start the CD. Singing in an a cappella group in college, Sara is quite talented in arranging harmonizing vocals. The lyrics fit well to introduce the entire album and lead perfectly into the first track.

2. Uncharted 10/10 - Definitely one of the standout tracks of this album. Right from the opening piano chords, listeners will be comforted to hear that Sara Bareilles signature-style staccato chords. The upbeat number is quite catchy and serves as the inspiraton for the rest of the album. Her vocals in the chorus (especially the final one) are filled with passion and conviction. This song is a gem from this album.

3. Gonna Get Over You 10/10 - Another one of the best tracks from this LP. This one may very well be a future single. I first heard this song from the "Gravity Tour" when she performed it live. I fell in love with it then and hoped it would show up on the album. I'm so glad it did. The layered vocals, snaps, and driving piano all blend together perfectly to pull this piece together.

4. Hold My Heart 9/10 - The verses and bridge in this song really shine. The claps turned me off at first, but they grow on me with more listens. I like how this song builds on itself from a mellow ballad into an emotional driving belter as Bareilles' vocals soar during the bridge. I can already see the lighters coming out during a live show.

5. King of Anything 10/10 - As the first single, this song delivers. The added horns are a nice twist to the traditional Sara B sound. This is the new "Screw You" song comparable to "Love Song" from her debut. This song refutes unsolicited advice and has become somewhat of an anthem for me when people try to tell me how to run my life. This is one of the high points of the album. Also check out the strings only version...it's amazing.

6. Say You're Sorry 7/10 - Not quite sure to make of this one. Melodically, the verses are absolutely amazing. But something about this song seems to be a little incohesive with the rest of the album. I think it would be better stripped down to just piano and slowed down to a ballad. However, I still enjoy listening to the song in full. Perhaps it will grow on me over time.

7. The Light 9/10 - The album finally slows down for a heartfelt ballad. Once again, the lyrics are cleverly crafted and speak right through your soul. Her vocals deliver delicately yet never feel distant. This is one of the most tender songs on the album. It's refreshing to hear a reassuring love song coming from Sara.

8. Basket Case 9/10 - One of my personal favorites off this effort. The acoustic guitar is a nice change of pace from the usual piano-driven songs. She reveals a vulnerable side of herself which allows her vocals to be delivered quite nicely. The harmonies in the chorus are also executed quite nicely.

9. Let the Rain 8/10 - Once again, the acoustic guitar is great to hear. The lyrics in this song are very relatable. I can picture listening to this song on a cross-country road trip. The pre-chorus is great to sing along to and the chorus is quite catchy as well.

10. Machine Gun 9/10 - The chorus is one of the best I'e heard off of "Kaleidoscope Heart". The mix of angst in her voice along with her powerful belt fit perfectly together as she sings "Maybe nobody loved you when you were young." I think we all have people in our lives that we've pondered that question about, haha. I find myself listening to this one quite a bit.

11. Not Alone 8/10 - Out of all the tracks, I could picture this one on "Little Voice". It's got that jazzy edge that "Morningside" and "Vegas" had. It's got some dark lyrics which correlate nicely with the creepy piano line. The added Alfred Hitchcock voiceover is a nice touch too.

12. Breathe Again 9/10 - This is the most emotionally raw track here. The lyrics are sung right to your heart. She delivers this melancholy emotion perfectly in her soft voice. The hook in the chorus is absolutely beautiful.

13. Bluebird 10/10 - How beautiful is this song? Her voice delivers perfectly in this song...and it's the perfect way to end the album. It's a tad jazzy, and the violins add a nice touch to the piano. This ballad will be great performed live.

Overall, I think Sara Bareilles delivered on this one and avoided the dreaded "Sophomore Slump" that so many artists fall into. I would definitely say that the tracks on "Kaleidoscope Heart" are more produced with added instruments and layered vocals. "Little Voice" was more stripped down and raw, but it's nice to hear this progression into a slightly new sound that still borrows many of the same elements (witty lyrics and driving piano lines).

Standout/Must Have Tracks: King of Anything, Uncharted, Gonna Get Over You, Breathe Again, Hold My Heart

Other Personal Faves: Basket Case, Bluebird, Machine Gun
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Kaleidoscope Around My Heart: Fine Sophomore Effort from Sara Bareilles, November 9, 2010
This review is from: Kaleidoscope Heart (Audio CD)
"Kaleidoscope Heart" is a most worthy sophomore effort from Sara Bareilles, confirming the artistic promise she displayed in her debut "Little Voice". With her irresistible piano hooks and expressive singing, Bareilles is carving out for herself a most unique niche in the realm of pop rock woman songwriters. Her songs aren't formulaic techno pop of the kind favored by some of her contemporaries, but instead, most heart-felt and most thoughtful, reflections on love and loss. I couldn't help but listen to "Kaleidoscope Heart" several times, and found myself loving these songs more and more each time.

Replete with pop rockers and gentle ballads, the album is a well conceived body of work that stands on its own. But there are several songs which especially stand out as potential singles. Her most poignant songwriting can be found in the ballads "Hold My Heart" and "The Light". Equally memorable too are the uptempo rockers "Uncharted" and "Say You're Sorry". But my two personal favorites are the 1950ish doo-wop sounding rock song "Gonna Get Over You" with a most compelling piano hook, and the recent Top Ten Adult Contemporary hit "King of Anything".

I'll admit that "Kaleidoscope Heart" isn't perfect. It misses some of the jazz-like inventiveness that I heard in "Little Voice", opting instead for a somewhat more commercial pop-rock edge. I also miss hearing her touring band, especially bassist Javier Dunn and drummer Josh Day (The latter reminds me a little of a young Nigel Olsson, especially in his soulful-like harmonizing.). Having recently heard the new Elton John/Leon Russell album, "The Union", I also have to wonder whether Bareilles's songs could have also benefited from a more acoustic, less production value approach (As a case in point, "Gonna Get Over You" reminds me of a Phil Spector-produced "Wall of Sound" musical number.). And yet, despite these reservations, "Kaleidoscope Heart" is, along with "The Union", the most compelling rock album I have heard this year, and, like Elton John and Leon Russell's superb collaboration, a fine example of pop songwriting at its best.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Get it Out of My Head!, September 21, 2010
By 
StateOfOpinion (Greenville, Alabama) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kaleidoscope Heart (Audio CD)
I have both, Kaleidoscope Heart, and her older cd, Little Voice. One of the Reasons that I gave this album five stars is the fact that I like ALL the songs on it. Little Voice was the same way.
And that's extremely uncommon. I can't think of ANY other music in the past that I've bought without finding at least ONE song on it that I thought "Well, that's crap." and skipped over it from then on.

Another reason I gave it high reviews is that I've been listening to this cd since I received it on Sep. 16th. I listen to it when I get home from work... I use it as a way to relax to get my head away from work. Its easy listing, the beat of all the songs are good. They're all different; it doesn't just bleed from one song to the next with no noticeable change.
Sometimes I play it twice... It hasn't grown old... and I don't think it will any time soon.
Normally, I listen to a new cd only a few times, get it out of my system, I move on to something different, and then come back to it after a while.

I really can't remember the last time I enjoyed a steady diet of one particular artist so much. Sara Bareilles has done that for me.

This COMPLETELY broke away from what I've come to expect when I buy music. And the fact that she's achieved the same thing with both cd this AND Little Voice...I will continue to buy Sara Bareilles music!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bareilles delivers an album full of outstanding songwriting, February 26, 2011
By 
Peter Marinari (Philadelphia, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kaleidoscope Heart (Audio CD)
The maturation from Sara Bareilles' major label debut to Kaleidoscope Heart is nothing short of astounding.

Her prior LP, Little Voice, was a pleasant album with a few killer singles and one too many samey songs with titular metaphors. It was memorable more for its parts than its whole. "Love Song" sounded understandably tacked-on, because it was - the label sent Bareilles back to the drawing board to pen a big single.

Kaleidoscope Heart dumps trite tunes and interminable balladeering in favor of an entire disc of "Love Song" caliber songwriting. The album runs at least five singles deep, a la Kelly Clarkson's explosive Breakaway, and as a whole it lays waste to every other pop album dropped in 2010.

Take note, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, T-Swift, and other aspiring pop songstresses ... Ms. Bareilles has got your number.

Songs stride from piano-girl pop ("Uncharted" and "Say You're Sorry") to wailing American Idol-worthy ballads ("Hold My Heart" and "Machine Gun") with stops in between for rolling bluesy licks ("Gonna Get Over You"), folky 70s AM radio ballads ("Basket Case"), and an Imogen Heap style vocoder title track.

Almost of those songs stand up to the killer lead single "King of Anything," which should be ruled an illegal stimulant due to its obscenely catchy handclap-drive chorus. Its opening call and response piano/vocal duet surely owes to Bareilles' show choir club experience - it seems designed especially for a Glee club cover.

Throughout the album, mature lyrics avoid any hint of girlish triteness and still contain the snappish bite of angst that fueled the best tunes on her debut. More impressively, the sonic palette of the disc manages to differentiate each tune without becoming gimmicky. That allows for great tracking, dropping slower songs at all the right points on the album.

Sara Bareilles has created an incredibly confident LP rife with solid turns of songwriting and sometimes stunning vocal chops. Kaleidoscope Heart is a follow-up record that requires no caveats to enjoy - it's simply great.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars she "gets" it!!!!, September 12, 2010
By 
masque (somerset, ky United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kaleidoscope Heart (Audio CD)
let me tell you what Sara "gets": MELODY, MELODY, MELODY! you know why we still listen to the beatles 40+ years after they started? because their songs have elements that become en-grained in our minds. i'm not trying to compare Sara to the beatles......BUT i am saying that this new cd is incredible from start to finish and it's because she has presented a set of songs that are memorable, upbeat and dripping with melody and harmony.

once you hear these songs you cannot get them out of your head. it's hard to believe that she had a self described case of writer's block leading up to this album....obviously, she broke out of it and her standards are set way high because these songs are fantastic!!!!

the performances are top notch......she has a GREAT voice and one that I could listen to for hours....her piano playing is aggressive at times and she knows exactly when its time to pull back and pull you in with great dynamics. the rest of her band has turned in perfect performances for these songs.

here's the cool thing; not only does she sing great melodies....many of her songs have multiple memorable melodies taking place all at once.....the piano weaves effortlessly amongst great melodies being played by the bass and sometimes guitar all WHILE she is a singing the main melody. i dont say this lightly but at times it reminds me of what you would hear in a paul mcartney written song. but dont take my word for it....BUY this cd and hear it for yourself.

PLEASE take the time to support this kind of artist.....she is the kind of artist that truly understands how to present to the listener a great collection of songs! thank you sara!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A musical mosaic of the heart!, September 7, 2010
This review is from: Kaleidoscope Heart (Audio CD)
Anyone familiar with the music of Sara Bareilles knows to expect catchy piano; clever, vivid lyrics; and flawless, emotive vocals. She's taken those elements even further in her second album and truly found her artistic voice. The piano pop of LITTLE VOICE, which was great enough on its own, is seasoned here to an almost retro taste: lots of excellent hand-claps and finger-snaps, a bit of blues here, a bit of doo-wop there.

But there's more: a guitar/harmonica folk slant to the subdued "Basket Case," a percussion-driven power to the urgent "Let The Rain." Interesting bass lines and perfectly utilized strings show up throughout the album. Perhaps best of all, every song is unique to its musical siblings. The emotional diversity ranges from playful or challenging defiance ("Gonna Get Over You," "Say You're Sorry," "King of Anything") to hopeful or lost yearning ("Not Alone," "Hold My Heart," "Breathe Again"). The unusual variety of mood, tempo, and instrumentation combines to create an energy that's rarely sustained over a 13-track album, an energy that I simply can't stop listening to!

I planned to highlight personal favorite moments, but I'd end up describing every track. The artist's lyrics paint specific images yet convey universal, human truths; her music has grown in complexity and originality. This album holds not a moment of filler or disappointment. With KALEIDOSCOPE HEART, Sara Bareilles has crafted a lovely album of vocal perfection, lyrical wit, and piano-based creativity that sounds like no one else.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 221 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Kaleidoscope Heart
Kaleidoscope Heart by Sara Bareilles (Audio CD - 2010)
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.